Do Not Call?
Whatever happened to that Do Not Call Registry that the Federal Trade Commission administers? It sure doesn’t seem to stop telemarketers from calling my cell phone, and I’m guessing it doesn’t stop them from calling yours. These days, I’m getting 3 to 4 calls a day from phone scams or calls with no one on the other end of the line.
I looked it up (investigated, if you will) and the FTC registry doesn’t seem to stop the scam artists from getting through. The FTC even says so in this Q&A. But the scam calls, IMHO, are the most dangerous type of telemarketing call and it has me wondering, what is the point of the registry if it doesn’t stop the worst of the worst?
I checked my number to see if it was registered and this is the confirmation email I received back.
I registered my phone number back in 2005. Yes, that’s right, 2005! So, why am I still getting those annoying calls? The FTC’s tip sheet offers the following groundbreaking advice: Hang up. I never thought of that (insert eye roll).
But the FTC does explain why that’s the right move. Apparently pushing 1 or 2 to ask to be placed on the scam’s “do not call” list tells the scammers that they found a live one, that your number is a good number to call to try and solicit information from you, such as your bank account information or to get you to send them money at a future time. I have a feeling that’s why I’ve been getting so many calls lately. I always wait to “ask to be removed” from their call bank.
This article from NPR called “Why Phone Fraud Starts With a Silent Call” explains it. In it, an Atlanta security expert says even those silent calls could lead to more scam calls.
“You even cough and it knows you’re there,” Vijay Balasubramaniyan, CEO of Pindrop Security says in the NPR article.
The question then becomes what is the FTC doing to try and enforce the law that created the Do Not Call Registry? Apparently, they have filed 105 enforcement actions against companies to date. See screenshot of their website below:
The FTC also recommends reporting the scams and the calls when you get them. But who has time for that? Especially since the calls themselves are an interruption to your day.
It boggles the mind that even though the registry has been around for more than a DECADE, only 105 companies have been found in violation. I know they’re hitting me up multiple times a day. How about you?