*Apparently, telemarketers have stepped up their game because they are downright harassing me. Now, not only do they call from a number in my area code, if I don’t answer (and I usually don’t) they will call from a number that has my numbers’ same prefix (the three numbers following the area code).
I have no idea whatsoever about the logic used for this.
They call before, during and after business hours; and get this, if and when you finally do decide to answer, no one is on the other end of the line!
The stupid asses can’t even get the automated message to roll in a timely manner.
To this day I wonder how desperate someone has to be to take on that job. Even in my days as a broke teen student, once I realized exactly what I was required to do at a similar position, I went to lunch and never returned.
I mean seriously, to spend hours of your day making uninvited phone calls. Calls that are being answered by irritable, interrupted, strangers.
I repeat: Ugh!
So what can we do to stop these unwanted calls? Yes, I know what you’re thinking because I could’ve sworn I put my name on the Do Not Call list ALREADY too.
But if you haven’t, take the step and do so right now… while its on your mind.
OK! Now here are some tips that must’ve worked for somebody. Hopefully it will work for the rest of us too.
Call your phone company and request to speak with the “annoyance department.” This specialized department can place a trap on your line that inhibits specific callers from contacting you.
Put your phone number on specific company do-not-call lists. If you’re routinely getting calls from the same annoying companies, you can tell the telemarketers to remove your name and number from their calling list. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires that your number be removed from the requested company lists for 5 years.
Change your phone settings. Androids and iPhones both have settings that allow you to only get calls from the people you want. The drawback is that if an organization or person you actually want to hear from has an unknown number, you won’t get the call. If you get an inordinate number of unknown calls from spammers every day, this might be a good option.
- You can set your Android to Privacy Mode so you only get calls from people you preapprove from your contacts list.
- Use Do Not Disturb on your iPhone. You can silence calls from everyone except for those selected from your contacts list.
Answer…but say this: If you get an unsolicited marketing call on your cellphone, first ask the caller how they got your number and firmly tell them you don’t want to be contacted again. If they call back, file a complaint with the FTC at donotcall.gov or 1-888-382-1222.
Check your “Apps”…One way to protect your cellphone number is to examine your apps and what permissions they require. People hand over their numbers often without even realizing it. When you install a new app, you receive a lengthy “terms of service” document. Buried in that fine print, there is often a clause about releasing your number to third parties. By accepting these terms of service, you typically give the company permission to use or sell your cellphone number.
BeWARE of talking too much on social media…
Many people are careless on Facebook, giving criminals heaps of personal information without a second thought. They post their birthdays and home addresses, and they even indicate when they’re home or away.
Putting your cellphone number on social media can be hazardous, especially if you have a lot of “friends” who you don’t know in real life. You may have tight privacy settings, but if you agree to be friends with a stranger, your data could be easily copied-and-pasted into nefarious hands.
Use your thinking cap. You may find it easy to find volunteers for your upcoming benefit by posting your cell number on Twitter. You may take a picture of your “Missing Dog” sign and post it on Instagram. But the short-term benefits aren’t worth the potential data breach.
At the end of the day,we don’t want to help these telemarketers by making their job easy. We do this when we thoughtlessly hand over our information via all the ways mentioned above.
But I personally have ONE LAST THING I’d like for us to try, and I’m going to need your help in the “comments” section below. Here goes…
Lets turn the tables on these suckers and publicize THEIR phone numbers. Send me (via the comments section) the phone number(s) of your telemarketers and the company they are calling from (if they ID themselves). You can even give a short synopsis of what they said to you. When I collect a healthy amount of these reader posts, we’ll publish it in an upcoming article on EURThisNthat.