The Do Not Call list was supposed to stop telemarketing calls.
Then why are so many of us now getting unwanted calls, even on our cell phones?
Calls at All Hours
As one Anderson Township, Ohio woman learned, a catch in the law could allow dozens of companies to call you.
It's been happening at all hours: her phone rings, and someone says "Is this Barbara?" It's another telemarketer selling something.
"Three moving companies called me, then two health insurance companies called me saying I was looking for health insurance," she said.
Barbara, who asked us not to use her last name, says even though she is on the Do Not Call list, her phone keeps ringing.
"By the third moving company, that's when I really started to think, 'oh my goodness what's going on?' " she said.
Barb believes her number was shared when she recently started calling senior living complexes, for her mom and dad.
"We had been looking for my parents to downsize and I suspect that somehow we just got on a list somewhere," she said.
The Catch with the Do Not Call list
It turns out if you give a company your number, they and all their affiliates can legally call you.
Barb suspects a senior living center may put her number on a "hot lead" list, for movers, insurers, and senior services.
So the "Do Not Call" list will no longer stop them, even if you are on it.
"I have registered my home phone, I have registered my cell phone, but they still call," she said.
Of course, scammers won't honor the Do Not Call list. They couldn't care less. So you may get calls about "lowering your credit card interest rates" even if you are on the list.
So what can you do?
-Give your home and cell number to a business only when absolutely necessary, such as for a doctor's office or delivery company that needs to reach you. Otherwise, give them an email address.
-If you do have to give your phone number, ask the company not to share it with anyone else, or "affiliates."
-Double check to make sure you are still on the Do Not Call list, at 888-382-1222. If you recently switched your phone service to the cable company, Vonage, or another phone service, you may not be on it anymore.
One other thing you can do: check directory websites that have replaced phone books, such as White Pages.com and Switchboard.com.
You may be unlisted in the phone book, but you can still show up on those sites. If you do, follow the links to "opt out."
Barb is doing that.... hoping the calls eventually stop.
As always, don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.
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