Scammers ignore the "Do Not Call" List, how to stop the harassment
You're on the "Do Not Call" list but you still get different kinds of annoying phone calls. Is there any way to get them to stop?
The Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin says they wish there was an easy answer. Instead, they have a series of tips to help better your chances.
It has already worked for some people.
Kari Juedes says that she has had her same cell phone number as long as she can remember. But - just a few months ago - the sketchy, harassing phone calls started coming in about daily.
"They were very vague about it. They would just say cardholder services. And it got to be where they would ask personal questions like 'Which credit card do you hold a balance on?'" Juedes said.
"I would just ask them for their name or their supervisor or a phone number and they would hang up immediately," Juedes said.
"Yes, we're on the no call list. So I just figured that I would file the complaint with the better business bureau and let it be what it is," Juedes said.
"The FTC has over 226 million phone numbers on the do not call registry. Does it work? Yes. But it does not work for everything," Jim Temmer, President of the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin, said.
Things it doesn't work on: political calls, survey calls, non-profits, businesses you work with, and charities.
"And of course, scammers who are doing illegal activity don't really care for those rules or laws to begin with," Temmer said.
"But it's still worth calling the FTC and complaining about the calls that you're getting because it helps them to build a log of numbers and possibly bring legal action," Temmer said.
"If your caller I.D. comes through and it's not someone you know, don't answer the phone. As simple as that sounds, that's the best way to make sure you're not talking to a scammer," Temmer said.
And last week the FCC also announced increased authority being given to phone companies so they can crack down on faked phone numbers.
"And we're working on policies to block illegal robo-calls - to stop these calls at the source so-to-speak, to help make caller I.D. more reliable," Ajit Pai, Chairman of the FCC, said in press release.
Juedis says she stopped answering unknown numbers and soon the calls stopped altogether. She says she hopes other older people in the area do the same because she feels that the "Do Not Call" list is a bit of a misnomer.
"Well my parents are older, about 80-ish. You always wonder if they would fall to the scam," Juedis said.
"The rules are made up for people who follow the rules. The people that are scamming or doing things illegally, they don't follow the rules that are there," Juedis said.
A few other things you can do to help family members deal with these unwanted calls: contact your cell phone provider and ask for options, block number in your phone so it appears to be out of service, and help forgetful relatives remember which calls are recognized by setting a different ringtone for unknown numbers.