If you’ve had it with getting phone calls about winning free cruises to parts unknown, or qualifying for extended car warranties though you don’t even drive, there’s something you can do to try and stop them.
State Senator Joe Addabbo is reminding Queens residents that there are a number of ways to report unwanted robocalls and other phone solicitations. Though it takes some work on everyone’s part, he noted, the effort will go a long way toward making those annoying calls stop for good.
“Nuisance phone calls are the top complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and I’m sure every one of us has received unwanted communications on both our landlines and cellphones,” Addabbo said. “Not only are they annoying, but many calls are placed by would-be identity thieves hoping t obtain personal information from consumers and gain access to their finances, credit, health records, Social Security numbers and other sensitive data.”
The first step Queens residents can take to stop these calls is to register all of their phone numbers on the federal Do Not Call registry. It takes a few minutes but is free of charge. Once a phone number is entered to the registry, Addabbo said, it will remain there as long as you want.
“While calls from certain charitable organizations and political entities, as well as businesses that have pre-existing relationships with a customer, are exempt from the anti-telemarketing laws, the Do Not Call Registry can certainly help reduce sales calls,” Addabbo said. “Registration usually takes about a month to go into effect.”
You can click here to enroll in the registry or call 888-382-1222.
If you do get any unwanted calls or illegal robocalls, the FTC offers these tips on how to respond:
- Hang up. Don’t press any buttons or talk, as it will probably lead to additional unwanted calls. If you have caller ID on your phone, jot down the number and then file a report with the FTC.
- Reach out to your phone service provider about call blocking services; some providers offer it for free, while others may charge a nominal fee.
- Those who use iPhone can use the “Do Not Disturb” feature to silence calls from people who are not included in their contact lists. Android users are advised to use their “Privacy Mode.”
Click here for additional tips from the FTC on fighting nuisance calls.