Why You're Still Plagued by Robocalls
And how to deal with them
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 14, 2015 12:30 PM CDT
Robocalls can seem endless.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(Newser) – Why do telemarketers keep pestering you, long after you signed up for the federal "Do Not Call" list? First of all, you're certainly not alone, Consumerist reports: "If this were a disease, it would be an epidemic," says a consumer advocate. The Federal Trade Commission gets between 250,000 and 300,000 complaints each month about telemarketers, and some 60% of those complaints are regarding robocalls, an official said at a panel discussion. One reason for the continuing calls is that recent telephone technology, while it has made our calls cheaper, has also made robocalling easier, Consumerist notes. There's also the fact that it's easy to hide one's number on caller ID, making it hard for officials to track the calls—especially when companies like AT&T are dealing with a total of some 3 billion phone calls every day.

On top of all that, "the reason robocalls are still made is because they work," says an expert. "They’re getting money. They’re usually scams, taking advantage of older people." Indeed, FTC lawyer Bikram Bandy writes that "most legitimate companies don't call if your number is on the (Do Not Call) Registry." To fight the calls, he suggests, hang up right away rather than trying to get yourself off the caller's list. Then, file a complaint with the FTC. And if you keep getting a call from the same number, you can look into your phone company's call-blocking options. The FTC has taken legal action against hundreds of firms over such calls, he notes. (Among its targets was the mysterious "Rachel.")
 

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