There is a national do not call list that you can sign up for. That should be your first step.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991 was created in response to consumer concerns about the growing number of unsolicited telephone marketing calls to their homes and the increasing use of automated and prerecorded messages. The FCC has rules to aid consumers who wish to limit these uninvited calls.
The FCC’s rules prohibit telephone solicitation calls to your home before 8 am or after 9 pm. Anyone making a telephone solicitation call to your home must provide his or her name, the name of the person or entity on whose behalf the call is being made, and a telephone number or address at which that person or entity may be contacted.
Some states permit you to file law suits against the violators; you may be awarded $500 in damages or actual monetary loss, whichever is greater. This amount may be tripled if you are able to show that the caller willfully and knowingly violated do-not-call requirements.
If you would like to send the FCC a complaint about suspected violations of the TCPA or of the FCC’s rules, you can file it by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, online at FCCcomplaints or by calling 1-888-225-5322.
On June 17, 2008, the Federal Communications Commission amended Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) rules to require telemarketers to honor registrations on the national Do-Not-Call list indefinitely, so that registrations will no longer expire after five years.
Under the revised rules, numbers will remain on the national do-not-call list unless the consumer removes his or her number or discontinues service. Consumers will no longer need to re-register their numbers on the national do-not-call list every five years.
To get off the mailing, phoning and emailing lists of legitimate organizations which belong to the Direct Marketing Association fill out the online forms reached below. They indicate it may take about three months to take effect.
|E-mail List Name Removal|
Each state often has its own telemarketing laws and luckily also maintain a listing of subscribed numbers so that they may enforce infractions.
Florida No Sales Solicitation Calls List - Designed to relieve residents of unwanted telephone solicitation contacts and ensure consumers of their right to privacy. For $10 the first year (per number) and $5 each year thereafter (per number), residents may have their residential, mobile, or pager telephone number included on the Department's "No Sales Solicitation" List which is updated four times each year. There is an active enforcement program designed to seek out offenders and help them achieve compliance. Online No Sales Solicitation Complaint form
Georgia No-Call List Web Site - By paying a $5.00 registration fee, you can place a residential telephone number on the Georgia No Call List for a period of two (2) years. By law, business and cellular telephone numbers may not be included on the list. You can contact the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs to report a violation by calling 404-657-7544, or toll-free at 1-800-805-7544.
|State Web Site||Toll-Free Phone Number|
|Alabama||use National list|
|Alaska Do Not Call List||n/a|
|Arkansas Do Not Call List||877-866-8225|
|California Do Not Call List||n/a|
|Colorado Do Not Call List||888-249-9097|
|Connecticut||800-842-2649||use National list|
|Florida Do Not Call List||800-435-7352|
|Georgia Do Not Call List||800-805-7544|
|Idaho Do Not Call List||800-432-3545|
|Indiana Do Not Call List||888-834-9969|
|Kentucky No-Call Web Site||866-592-2550||Missouri Do Not Call List||866-662-2551||Updated four times a year.|
|Texas Do Not Call List||866-896-6225|
|Wisconsin Do Not Call List||n/a|
|FTC Do Not Call List||n/a|
Your Phone Company May Be Able to Help
Many telephone service providers also offer a special phone service enhancement often referred to as Privacy Manager which you should ask about.
It is a call screening service that works with Caller ID to identify all incoming calls that have no telephone numbers such as Anonymous, Unavailable, Out Of Area or Private. These typically come from telemarketers who are all requested to identify themselves in order to complete the call.
As such it stops unidentified callers before your phone rings and provides you with options in the event you don't want to talk to the caller. It costs around $4 per month for the service.
|More control over incoming phone calls|
|Stops telemarketing calls without having to write a written request or talk to them|
|Provides the functionality of Anonymous Call Rejection|
How it Works
The caller will hear:
"The person you are trying to reach does not accept unidentified calls. Your Caller ID was not received. To enter an access code, press 1. Or, to record your name so that we may announce your call, press 2."
If the caller announces his or her name, your phone will ring and "Privacy Manager" appears on the Caller ID box. You will know that this is a screened call and will have four options to handle the call:
- Accept the call
- Reject the call: "The person you are calling is not available at this time. Please try again later."
- Send the call to voice mail or an answering device.
- Send a solicitor's rejection: "Attention! Phone solicitors
- Please add this person's name and telephone number to your
Do Not Call list. The person you are calling does not accept
You may request the Direct Marketing Association, a trade group of telephone and mail marketers, to remove your name from national contact lists. The association provides updates of removal requests to companies four times a year. Your name remains on file for five years; you may then re-register.
The Direct Marketing Association is tightening its e-mail privacy standards for its 2,000 member companies which will require the expulsion of those that do not adhere to them.
Under the new rules, DMA member companies will be required to give consumers notice and choice before sending e-mail solicitations or selling or sharing their e-mail address with third parties. Member companies must clearly identify themselves in each e-mail, and accurately describe the subject of the e-mail in the message header. In addition, each e-mail must include a notice that allows the recipient to opt out of further communications from the sender.
It is rarely such association members which contribute to the deluge of spam you receive however.
To stop receiving junk mail, send a post card with your name and address to the following organizations requesting that your name be permanently removed from their mailing list:
|Mail Preference Service
Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008
P.O. Box 919
Allen, TX 75013
Experian Consumer Services
|Polk - " Opt-Out Program "
List Order Services
1621 18th Street
Denver, CO 80202
|National Customer Support Center
6060 Primacy Parkway, Suite 101
Memphis, TN 38188
Superintendent of Documents
Consumer List Management
1 American Lane
Greenwich, CT 06831
|List Data Solutions
1235 N. Avenue
Nevada, IA 50201-1419
|Carney Direct Marketing,
15520 Rockfield Bvld., Suite C
Irvine, CA 92618
To stop receiving packets of ads, coupons or product samples that are sent to " Resident" send a postcard to the following organizations requesting your address be removed from their list.
List Service Supervision
239 West Service Road
Hartford, CT 06120
6030 North US 301
Elm City, NC 27822
|Carol Wright Gifts
340 Applecreek Road
Lincoln, NE 68528-1501
|Harte Hanks Direct Marketing
100 Alco Place
Baltimore, MD 21227-2090
14271 Corporate Drive
Garden Grove, CA 92843
Address Information Department
8575 Largo Lakes Drive
Largo, FL 33773
To stop telemarketing calls, send your name, address and telephone number, including area code to:
|Telephone Preference Service
Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 9014
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014
5711 South 86th Circle
Omaha, NE 68127
P.O. Box 1296
Westboro, MA 01581
8424 154 Avenue
Redmond, WA 98052
The Telezapper , at $50, is designed to "zap" calls made by predictive dialer computers by doing two things: first, by disconnecting predictive-dialed calls before you can be connected to a live telemarketer and second, by deleting your phone number from telemarketing computer lists.
When you or your answering machine picks up a call, the TeleZapper emits a special tone that "fools" the computer into thinking your number is disconnected. Instead of connecting you to a salesperson, the computer stores your number as disconnected in its database.
The TeleZapper DOES NOT create a computer virus for callers. It simply emits a tone that most predictive dialer computers recognize as a disconnected number.
Reviews are mixed between complaints that it emits the annoying beep on every answered call, doesn't work with some answering machines and incoming phone card calls, and outright joy that the number of unwanted calls decreased dramatically. It may be worth using initially and then again if the calls increase.
Making Money Fixing Problems They Create
For regional phone companies like Verizon, Qwest, SBC and BellSouth, privacy services like Caller ID and Security Screen are a growing revenue source. But the phone companies aren't just trying to thwart sales calls. They're also helping telemarketers make them.
Telecoms sell telemarketers high-capacity lines and sophisticated "predictive dialing" machines that unleash a stampede of automated sales calls. Some, including Qwest and Verizon, even sell home numbers of the same customers who buy their privacy services —unless they pay a fee to have their numbers unlisted.
Phone companies also offer their own blocking and screening solutions, like SBC's Privacy Manager, Sprint's Privacy ID and Qwest's No Solicitation, which intercept calls without ID and ask solicitors to hang up.
"The phone companies are like arms merchants in a technological war between telemarketers and phone subscribers," said privacy advocate Jason Catlett. "They profit from both sides".
"Peace and Quiet Fraud Watch Service" Is Itself A Scam
A Canadian Telemarketer promising "peace and quiet" delivered only disturbances and phony bills, Attorney General Roy Cooper said following a court ruling that stops the firm from doing business in North Carolina.
Missouri Attorney General Jeremiah "Jay" Nixon also issued warnings about the telemarketing firm from Montreal, Quebec which is offering an "international no call list" program. "Not only is the service worthless but any Missourian can already obtain the same protection for free by signing up on the attorney general's toll-free no call list 1-866-No-Call-1."
"These con artists define brazenness and unmitigated gall," Nixon said. "They are making telemarketing calls to sell at a high price a useless service that is supposed to protect you from unwanted telemarketing calls.
Last year Nixon went after Ronald James "Sharky" Blum, a Montreal telemarketer, and saw that he received a five-year prison sentence for reportedly impersonating a Canadian judge in a scam pulled on several Missourians.
Superior Court Judge A. P Jones ruled against R & R Consultants Inc. whose company's "Peace and Quiet" program claimed that it could protect consumers' credit card accounts and other financial information from theft or fraudulent charges by con artists, and could prevent consumers from receiving unwanted telemarketing calls by placing them on international "do not call" lists for a $289 fee.
In fact, "Peace and Quiet" telemarketers would place calls, solicit business and after being turned down, charge consumers anyway.
The Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's office also says R & R Consulting falsely promoted themselves as having provided credit card security and identity theft services for VISA, and promised consumers a credit card for a $25 fee. It is a violation of N.C. state law to charge a fee for a credit card.
Noting that R & R Consultants is doing business without being registered in the state and is using deceptive and fraudulent tactics the Attorney General is seeking refunds for North Carolina consumers and an injunction to prevent them from violating state law in the future where any civil penalty involving a victim who was over 65 years of age is boosted to $25,000.
Rueben Ross is the principal officer of R & R Consultants, Inc. which, based in Montreal, Quebec operates under a variety of names including Visa MasterCard Adjustment Center, R & R Associates and R & R Company.
Federal funding assisted in the case, through a Federal Telemarketing Fraud Prevention Grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice.
What Part of Free Don't You Understand
05/08/03 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Trade Commission said Thursday it moved to shut down an alleged scam that charged consumers money to sign up for a free government-run service designed to stop telemarketing calls.
The FTC sued a California man who allegedly charged between $9.99 and $17.99 to sign consumers up for the free 'do not call' list, which starting in October will allow consumers to prevent unwanted sales calls to their homes.
According to the FTC's complaint, Novato, California, resident Ken Chase operated two Web sites, www.free-do-not-call-list.org and www.national-do-not-call-list.us. Those who 'preregistered' for the do-not-call list at the first Web site were encouraged to visit the second site, which offered to block telemarketing calls, junk faxes, and 'spam' e-mail for an annual fee.
Neither Web site was functioning as of Thursday afternoon.
While consumers will be able to place their telephone numbers on the list starting in July, the registration process is designed to thwart bulk registrations by middlemen like Chase, the FTC said.
'The law doesn't allow third-party profiteers to be in the do-not-call business,' said Howard Beales, head of the FTC's consumer-protection division.
AVOID "DO NOT CALL" SCAMS - FTC Consumer Alert
Many consumers who want to get fewer telemarketing calls have signed up with a state "Do-Not-Call" registry, the Direct Marketing Association's Telemarketing Preference Service or individual company "Do Not Call" lists.
Consumer protection officials say that rip-off artists have begun to take advantage of the popularity of these services to trick consumers into giving up personal information, such as their Social Security number, bank account number, credit card number or telephone calling card number. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has proposed creating a national "Do Not Call" list, but it has not yet been implemented.
Here's how the scam works:
Someone calls you claiming to represent a "Do Not Call" registry or the FTC. The phony registry "official" asks for your personal information, supposedly to verify that you want to be on the "Do Not Call" list. The caller is a con artist who could use your personal information to run up debts in your name or otherwise steal your identity.
The FTC says that once a consumer signs up with a "Do Not Call" registry, there is no need to confirm personal information. And you will never receive an unsolicited call to be put on a "Do Not Call" registry.
The FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection says consumers can avoid these types of scams by following their suggestions:
1) DO NOT share your personal information if someone calls you claiming to represent a "Do Not Call" registry, an organization to stop fraud or even the FTC itself! In fact, don't even stay on the line.
2) Keep information about your bank accounts and credit cards to yourself (including the numbers), unless you are absolutely CERTAIN you know who you are dealing with.
3) Never share your Social Security number with a person or company you don't know.
4) If you receive such a call, report it to your State
Attorney General's office or to the FTC at
www.ftc.gov or toll-free at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
For more information on how to reduce unwanted telemarketing calls, visit www.donotcall.gov If you believe that your personal information may have been compromised, visit idTheft.
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261.
The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
05/23/03 Bankrate.com (excerpt) - New software that allows telemarketers to bypass phone company privacy services and thwart privacy gadgets such as the TeleZapper hits the market in June of 2003.
The TeleZapper wards off some computer-dialed telemarketing calls by faking the tones of disconnected numbers. You can download similar tones for free off privacy sites such as Private Citizen and Junkbusters.
Privacy systems from some phone companies reject calls that fail to provide caller ID.
But none of these privacy defenses will deter calls from telemarketers using DirectQuest software from Castel Inc.
To learn a phone line's condition, DirectQuest reads signals from a phone company's computer. It doesn't actually listen to a phone line, so blaring out phony, disconnected tones does little good.
DirectQuest gives a telemarketing company the ability to specify a caller ID for each client it calls for, rather than just listing the main number of the company.
Tougher rules for telemarketers regarding dead air calls and abandoned calls were finalized back in December with other amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule. These rules take effect in October.
The most promising new rule and the biggest consumer weapon in the privacy war to date is the establishment of a federal do-not-call registry.
The federal registry is free and consumers can start enrolling in July. Once a consumer is on this list, most telemarketers would be prohibited from calling.
And just as importantly, a telemarketer that calls a consumer listed on the federal do-not-call registry could pay quite a price.
Any registered consumer who receives a single, unsolicited and prohibited call may file a complaint. Violators could be fined $11,000 per incident.
Telemarketing is a big and effective business. Call centers employ more than six million workers and rake in more than $660 billion in sales each year.
Andy Rooney's tips for telemarketers - Three Little Words That Work!!
(1)The three little words are: "Hold On, Please..."
Saying this, while putting down your phone and walking off (instead of hanging-up immediately) would make each telemarketing call so much more time-consuming that boiler room sales would grind to a halt.
Then when you eventually hear the phone company's "beep-beep-beep" tone, you know it's time to go back and hang up your handset, which has efficiently completed its task.
These three little words will help eliminate telephone soliciting.
(2) Do you ever get those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end?
This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone.
This technique is used to determine the best time of day for a "real" sales person to call back and get someone at home.
What you can do after answering, if you notice there is no one there, is to immediately start hitting your # button on the phone, 6 or 7 times, as quickly as possible. This confuses the machine that dialed the call and it kicks your number out of their system. Gosh, what a shame not to have your name in their system any longer !!!
(3) Junk Mail Help:
When you get "ads" enclosed with your phone or utility bill, return these "ads" with your payment. Let the sending companies throw their own junk mail away.
When you get those "pre-approved" letters in the mail for everything from credit cards to 2nd mortgages and similar type junk, do not throw away the return envelope.
Most of these come with postage-paid return envelopes, right? It costs them more than the regular 37cents postage "IF" and when they receive them back.
It costs them nothing if you throw them away! The postage was around 50 cents before! the last increase and it is according to the weight. In that case, why not get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in these cool little, postage-paid return envelopes.
One of Andy Rooney's (60 minutes) ideas.
Send an ad for your local chimney cleaner to American Express. Send a pizza coupon to Citibank. If you didn't get anything else that day, then just send them their blank application back!
If you want to remain anonymous, just make sure your name isn't on anything you send them.
You can even send the envelope back empty if you want to just to keep them guessing! It still costs them 37 cents.
The banks and credit card companies are currently getting a lot of their own junk back in the mail, but folks, we need to OVERWHELM them. Let's let them know what it's like to get lots of junk mail, and best of all they're paying for it...Twice!
Let's help keep our postal service busy since they are saying that e-mail is cutting into their business profits, and that's why they need to increase postage costs again. You get the idea !
If enough people follow these tips, it will work----I have been doing this for years, and I get very little junk mail anymore.
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