Thursday, July 5, 2007

Stop Telemarketing Calls

One way to reduce your spending and avoid being scammed is to stop telemarketing calls. Are you maybe, perhaps, just a little fed up with being pestered every evening by unknown callers? If so, put your phone number(s) on the National Do Not Call Registry, which is operated by the Federal Trade Commission.

Go to or call toll-free 1-888-382-1222 (TTY 1-866-290-4236). You can register land lines and cell phones. Not all telemarketers are required to stop calling you. Political organizations, charities and political surveyors can still disturb your tranquillity. Companies with which you have an existing business relationship (such as a company that you bought something from), can call you for 18 months after you make a purchase or 3 months after you make an inquiry or submit an application. Also, any company that you give permission to call can keep calling (warning: there may be fine print in forms and other documents that authorize these calls, so always read the fine print).

After your phone number has been registered with the National Do Not Call Registry for 31 days, telemarketers have to stop calling you (except for the ones that are allowed to keep calling). If you get calls that aren’t permitted, file a complaint at You’ll need the phone number or name of the organization that called you.

Of course, telemarketers don’t make it easy for you to stop them. Many make computerized calls that don’t leave messages in your voicemail. That way, you have to talk to them in order to identify them as a prohibited caller. If you take the call, ask them to put you on their individual do not call list. They are required to honor this request. Then, if they are a prohibited caller, file a complaint with the government.

From a practical standpoint, having caller ID helps a lot. If the caller appears to be a telemarketer, you can not answer. Most telemarketers will remove you from their calling lists after a while if you don’t answer their calls (because they don’t want to spend the money to call people who won’t talk to them).

There are some people who like receiving telemarketer calls. Sadly, many of them are elderly and lonely, and end up being ripped off one way or another. If you have a parent, grandparent, great aunt, great uncle or other elderly relative or friend, think about helping them get on the National Do Not Call Registry. Each person must personally put his or her phone numbers in the registry. But nothing says you can’t help out. You might be doing them a very big favor.

For information about recent types of scams, please go to

For more money management ideas, take a look at

Medical(?) News: smash up a hotel to relieve stress.

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