Scammers and unscrupulous businesses don’t care about age or how tech savvy you are…they’re looking for gullible consumers. And, they find millions.
That’s one reason the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – the nation’s consumer protection agency – is highlighting March 5-11 as Consumer Protection Week.
“Protecting and educating consumers are top priorities for the FTC,” said Thomas Pahl, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, which also safeguards American identities, protects financial records, and stops unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices.
This Bureau also:
- collects consumer complaints,
- conducts investigations,
- enforces the law,
- sues lawbreakers, and
- develops policy, research tools and rules to maintain a fair marketplace.
It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction across broad sectors of the economy.
You may already by part of one of the FTC’s most popular, effective programs – the Do Not Call Registry which protects millions of consumers from getting unwanted sales calls.
“DoNotCall.gov” Has Your Number?
If you aren’t on this list already, you can reduce telemarketing calls by registering your personal phone number. It’s free and easy to do. Just call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone number you want to register, or visit http://www.DoNotCall.gov where you can register up to three numbers at once. After you verify your registration (within 72 hours), you typically appear on the Registry the next day. After 31 days, most unwanted sales callers should stop.
Unwanted Callers Still Bother You?
While most legitimate companies don’t call numbers listed on the Registry, there’s a good chance a scammer will ignore the FTC rules. If you registered and still receive unwanted calls, hang up and file a complaint with the FTC (at DoNotCall.gov or 888-382-1222).
But there are a couple of reasons why you might still get calls:
- The Do Not Call Registry is specifically geared to unwanted sales calls. Unfortunately, it doesn’t apply to callers from political organizations, charities, debt collection agencies, or telephone surveyors.
- Plus, many annoying telemarketers use technology to their advantage. The FTC has seen a significant jump in illegal sales calls, particularly robocalls. With these phone systems powered by the Internet, it’s cheap and easy for scammers to make illegal calls from anywhere in the world. A fake caller ID is usually displayed, which helps scammers or telemarketers skirt law enforcement and makes it harder to block their calls.
And By the Way…
- Once you’ve registered your phone, you don’t need to re-register it.
- There is only one “Do Not Call” list, and it’s free. Do not pay anyone to register your number.
- You can register either a personal landline or cell phone. You cannot register a business line.
- FTC does NOT release phone numbers to telemarketers nor provide the Registry list.