By JUSTICE CAMPBELL
The equivalent of more than seven automated marketing calls are made to every American totaling 2.4 billion calls made every month, according to the Federal Communications Commission. The most common source of complaints to the FCC are these computerized marketing calls, or “Robocalls.”
What was once used as an aggressive marketing technique by legitimate companies has now become inconvenient and bothersome Robocalls made by criminals looking to lie, steal and manipulate from the person answering the phone. Some simple solutions to combatting this is not to give your phone number to businesses unless absolutely necessary or not answering unlisted or unknown phone numbers.
On June 27, 2003 The Federal Trade Commission established the National Do Not Call Registry. By registering one’s phone number on this list it will then be illegal for businesses to make unsolicited calls to that number.
The worse tactic is to try and get revenge on these highly computerized systems by giving misinformation or dragging out the call. Speaking on the phone to a robocaller or pressing buttons can indicate that there is a person attached to your number, potentially increasing the volume of future calls. The wisest thing to do is to not answer the call or block the call with the capabilities the cell phones have today.
The following tips are nine great ways to handle robocalls…
1. Only share your number when necessary
2. Ask companies not to call you
3. Hang up immediately
Some scams use robocalls to ask “can you hear me?” and then record the victims’ responses. Recordings of “yes” answers are used to book services. Scammers will then demand payment, threatening legal action. If you pick up the phone and discover an unwanted or unknown caller, you should hang up immediately.
4. Never press buttons
5. Get on the National Do Not Call Registry
Those wishing to sign up can call 888-382-1222 or go to http://www.donotcall.gov to register there.
6. File a complaint with the FTC
Filing a complaint is relatively easy and can be done on the FTC website or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP. Telemarketers breaking the law can face penalties as high as $16,000 per call.
7. Register for a robocall-blocking service
For those living in the United States, the Nomorobo application can help block robocalls.
8. Avoid calls from unrecognized numbers
9. Block numbers that repeatedly call you
One of the most effective solutions is also one of the simplest. Most mobile phones today have settings which allow users to add numbers to a block list.
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