Getting telemarketing calls to stop can be as difficult as getting rid of an infestation of bed bugs. Usually companies, that bother you, find your phone number on online and offline telephone directories. But not only your phone number is available to them, your home address, shopping habits, even your annual income are do as well. In fact, anyone who has an Internet access can type your first and last name and make a search. Your data interests legitimate businesses and bad guys alike. Scammers do not have to dig deeper to find your phone number or address.
There is no magic bullet to stop third parties invade your personal space, but there are steps you can take to make yourself invisible for them.
The first and most obvious step is registering with the National Do Not Call Registry. This is an easy three step online process. Register at www.donotcall.gov. The NDNCR is for landline home phones and cell phones. It does not cover business and fax numbers. Persons may also register by calling the NDNCR at 1-888-382-1222. The call is toll free.
Once you register telemarketers can take up to 31 days to stop calling you. During that time period, if a telemarketer calls you should ask to be placed on their Do Not Call list. Companies that solicit by telephone maintain their own DNC lists.
Registering with the NDNCR will reduce the number of phone solicitations you receive; however, it will not stop all of them. Some organizations are not required to follow the NDNCR rules. Those organizations include most telephone surveyors, political organizations, and many non-profit organizations and charities. Organizations and businesses you already do business with are also exempt.
Any telephone surveyor who offers you a product for sale or a service you are asked to pay for must comply with NDNCR rules. Phone surveyors who are only soliciting information are exempt. If you do not want to participate in a phone survey you are certainly not required to do so.
Some individual states have their own DNC registries. Check with your state by going to a search engine on the internet and searching for the name of your state along with the phrase Do Not Call Registry.
For people who do not want to register with the NDNCR or their state registry there is another option. When you receive a phone call from a telemarketer you may tell that person to place you on their DNC list.
The second step requires removal of your records from public access. By doing this, you will protect your phone number, previous and current addresses, age, date of birth and much more. Otherwise you will continue receiving endless stream of telemarketing calls as well as robocall recording instructing you to push a certain number to hear an important message. The danger in pushing a number while on a robocall is the possibility of being scammed and possibly to expose even more private records.
Google your name and see what websites post your records. Search for yourself in the most popular like Spokeo, White Pages, TruthFinder and InstantCheckMate. Fill out opt-out forms or contact their support teams with the removal requests. Be ready to spend a few weeks removing your personal data from these websites, but what one won’t do to keep privacy. To find exactly where your data might be located, use this list of websites that keep posting personal profiles. There you will find clear instructions how to remove yourself from them.
You also might consider subscribing to online protection service. This is a good variant for those who doesn’t have any free time to do this tedious removal work. We recommend OneRep for such purposes. The service will send opt-out request on your behalf, fill out removal forms and make your personal data disappear from Google, Yahoo or Bing.
Many people don’t answer their phones when they suspect a telemarketer is calling. Others answer the phone and hang up as soon as the solicitor starts making their pitch. Neither of these strategies are very effective. The best method is to take control of the phone conversation as soon as you realize you are talking to a telemarketer. It is not necessary to be rude. A firm and business-like tone is most effective.
To recap, there is no way to stop every telemarketing call, but following the steps recommended in this article will greatly reduce the number of calls you receive.