Don’t Press 1 to Remove Your Phone Number
Some telemarketers use robodialers and automated messages to sell their services. Con artists use the same technology. Either way, anytime you pick up the phone and a recorded voice tells you to “press 1 to remove your phone number” do not press any buttons. If you press 1 or any other buttons for that matter, the telemarketer or con artist will ADD your number to a call-more-frequently list. No kidding. They won’t remove your phone number but will actually call you more often because now they know they have connected to a live person with a good telephone number. Press 1 to remove your phone number is a lie. The telephone sales companies won’t just call more frequently however. They will also sell and share your number to other annoying telemarketers and scam artists.
Hang Up to Stop the Calls
Your best protection from telemarketers and con artists is to hang up the phone. The last thing you want to do is press any buttons. Don’t let a telemarketer or scam artist know they have connected to a working phone number. Hang up.
Stop Telemarketing Calls
Despite my advice to hang up on certain scam calls you should not hang up on telemarketing calls from reputable telemarketing companies. A reputable company is one that will accurately identify itself on your caller ID and will tell you who they are. When such a telemarketing company calls the best way to stop the calls is to ask to be placed on its internal do not call list. Tell them they are calling a cell phone if true and ask them to remove your phone number and stop calling. Take detailed notes of who you spoke with, what was said, what number they were calling from, and take a picture of the caller ID for each and every call. If they call you more than a dozen times after you tell them to stop, contact a consumer protection attorney. A good attorney can stop the calls from legitimate telemarketers pretty fast.
Stop Debt Collection Calls
My advice to hang up on scam calls and annoying sales calls from unknown companies also doesn’t apply to debt collection calls. Debt collection calls need to be handled more directly. Especially if they are calling more than two or three times per week.
One way to stop debt collection calls is to tell the collection agency to stop calling and that you refuse to pay. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act they have to stop calling when you do. They might sue you however, so talk to a consumer rights attorney before taking such a drastic step. If they keep calling after you tell them to stop, track the details of each call and keep the same detailed records as you would with a telemarketer.
Don’t Stop Debt Collection Calls
In many cases you may want to let debt collectors call you. Track every call as discussed above, however. Take detailed notes, caller ID pictures, and keep track of every call. If the debt collector is abusive, the information you gather now will be evidence against them later. In many cases you should record abusive telephone calls with collection agencies but contact an attorney to assist and advise you first. Recording telephone calls is illegal in many states and punishable as a crime. Don’t record a call unless you are 100% certain that it is legal to do so in both your state and the caller’s state.
Remove Your Phone Number, Maybe
There are times you want to remove your phone number from a telemarketing list but never push a button to do so. Tell the caller to stop the calls and keep detailed records for later use in court if they won’t stop the calls. Of course, if a company calls you more than a dozen times after you tell it to stop, contact a consumer protection attorney for assistance.