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.
Sweepstakes ( contact to
get a vulnerable purchaser off lists )
Each state often has its own telemarketing laws and luckily also
maintain a listing of subscribed numbers so that they may enforce
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.
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
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.
on the Preference Services available from the DMA
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
901 West Bond
Lincoln, NE 68521
P.O. Box 740123
Atlanta, GA 30374-3502
555 West Adams Street
Chicago, IL 60661
100 Paragon Drive
Montvale, NJ 07645-0419
|Polk - " Opt-Out Program "
List Order Services
1621 18th Street
Denver, CO 80202
777 American Express Way
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33337
|National Customer Support Center
6060 Primacy Parkway, Suite 101
Memphis, TN 38188
|Superintendent of Documents
Attn: Direct Mail Manager
732 North Capitol St., NW-Mail Stop Sm
Washington, D.C. 20401
202-512-2267 (Mail List Section)
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
Xentel Don't Call
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 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
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
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
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
AVOID "DO NOT CALL" SCAMS - FTC
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
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
stop fraud or even the FTC itself! In fact, don't even stay on
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,
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);
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
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.