Everybody gets these annoying calls. I usually field about a dozen a day. They usually want to extend a warranty, help me reduce my credit card debt or accept a "free" vacation. Sometimes they want me to press "one" to speak to a representative. Boy, I would like to tell the representative a few things.

Of course what we really want to do when we get these calls is scream at the caller and tell them to shove their phone in a personal private place. Even though it may make you feel a little better, it is the wrong thing to do.

If you have caller ID, look for a very long number and simply don't answer the call. If the number is from a caller in your area code that you don't recognize, let the call go to voicemail.

The scammers are getting very good about stealing a number from someone that has called you. You certainly want to answer that one BUT here's a tip.  When you answer, don't speak.  Just pick up the receiver or press the correct cell button and wait for the caller to speak. If it's a real call, the person on the other end will say something like, "Bill, is that you?".  The scammer's call is activated when you speak. If you do speak and activate the scammer recording, hang up quick.

If you do get a scammer, don't push any buttons. If the recording says, "Press two to be put on our do not call list," don't do it. No caller can put you on a do not call list. If you press that button, you'll get even more calls because the scammer will know yours is a working number.

What else can you do to stop these darn calls?

Put your number on the national DO NOT CALL  list

It will not block all calls, just the ones where the caller is trying to sell something, but it will help.. Just click on this site from the feds do not call and list your phone. If you think you may have already listed your phone, you can check and see at that site also. Calls from telemarketers will be blocked (in theory). Political, survey and charity calls will still get through. Once you have listed your phone with the do not call site, your block should take effect within 31 days. You can also rat on unwanted callers at that site.

You might want to list your number on the Indiana do not call list also.

Does this government call blocking system work? They say it does. Robocalls are illegal and there is a fine of over $40,000 per call, The Federal Trade Commission has filed many cases and collected millions in fines.  One more piece of advice:

Don't EVER say this when talking to a robocall or telemarketer

Don't ever use the word "yes". The caller may say something like, "Can you hear me OK"? That is your cue to yell, "NO NO NO" and hang up. Don't say "yes" ever! The lowlife scum can record your voice saying that word and use it to access your personal info.

Here's another note about the word "no". If you do happen to have a brain tootie and end up actually talking with a telemarketer, they will not let you go until they hear the word "NO" from you three times. They're pretty good salespersons and they won't usually accept those first two "nos". Give 'em that third one quick.

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to list my phone on the FTC site right now. I've been on the Indiana site for several years and I still get my half dozen telemarketer calls a day.

Everybody gets these darn calls. Everybody.


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