Scammers and telemarketers keep calling even though I'm on the Do-Not-Call list

August 29, 2017

Dear Consumer Ed:

What can I do to stop scammers and phony telemarketers from calling me all the time? The Do-Not-Call list used to work for me, but not anymore.  They bother me on my landline home phone and on  my cell phone. 

Consumer Ed says:

Unwanted telemarketing calls are a real problem. The Do-Not-Call registry, maintained by the Federal Trade Commission, prohibits telemarketers from contacting people who have added their home phone or personal mobile phone number to the registry. However, Georgia and Federal Do-Not-Call laws still allow certain businesses to contact you, including charitable, political or educational organizations; companies that you have a current or prior business relationship with; and companies to which you have given express permission to call you.

Unfortunately, with the advent of new technologies and the inexpensive cost of making phone calls, it has become easier for fraudsters to bypass the Do-Not-Call laws. So, while being on the Do-Not-Call list will reduce the number of phone solicitations you get from legitimate businesses, it will not stop scammers from calling. 

If you are receiving unwanted calls despite being on the Do-Not-Call list, you do have some options available to you:

  • You can let incoming calls from numbers you don’t recognize go straight to voicemail.
  • If you get repeated scam calls from one particular number, you can contact your phone company and ask them to block that number, but first find out whether there’s a fee for that service. 
  • If you get unwanted calls from many different numbers, you may want to look into a call blocking solution. There are online call blocking services, call blocking boxes, and smartphone apps that block unwanted calls. Do your research here because not all services work on all phones.
  • Finally, if you receive a telemarketing call from a business that is not exempt from the Do-Not-Call laws, you can report the violation by going to donotcall.gov and clicking on “File a complaint.” Telemarketers who violate the Do-Not-Call law are subject to civil penalties. 

Consumers can add their phone number to the Do-Not-Call list by going to donotcall.gov. Telephone numbers that are placed on the Do-Not-Call registry remain on it permanently.  Most sales calls will stop once your number has been on the registry for 31 days. 

Submit your own question to Consumer Ed.  Remember…we do not give legal advice. Always consult a lawyer about legal issues.