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New ways to stop telemarketing robocalls

Don't Waste Your Money

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You're probably all too familiar those irritating sales calls that come just as you're sitting down to dinner, despite your number being on the Do-Not-Call List.

Now, callers are targeting our cell phones as well, which costs us minutes of air time.

Calls Increase in Recent Months

Richard Berman says he has tried to stop phone solicitations like these for years. One says, "Our warranty specialists are standing by and will take just a few minutes to quote you coverage and give you the peace of mind you deserve." Sound familiar?

"We were getting about three or four calls a week on our landline. We called the Do Not Call Registry and that has cut it down to almost none. However, I'm still getting two or three a week on my cell phone. It's really very annoying," said Berman.

So after entering his home phone on the national Do Not Call Registry, Richard is going to add his cel lphone. It's easy at DoNotCall.gov.

But our partners at Consumer Reports Magazine say be aware that charities and political candidates are still allowed to call, and some brazen telemarketers who don't care about the law may still contact you.

"The problem is that enforcing the rules on unwanted marketing calls is tough. Some unethical companies go ahead and call you anyway, even if you are on the Do Not Call Registry," said Margot Gilman of Consumer Reports.

What You Can Do

To help limit robocalls,Consumer Reports says:

     -Hang up and don't press any buttons. If you do, the auto dialer registers that a real person answered and may keep calling.

     -If you have caller ID on your phone, report the robocaller's number to the Federal Trade Commission. All you have to do is go to DoNotCall.gov.

     -Check out  Nomorobo, which can block these calls if you have an internet-based home phone such as Vonage, Magic Jack, or Time Warner.

It is not yet available, however, for Cincinnati Bell, Verizon, AT&T, or T Mobile wireless customers.

"The new free service Nomorobo identifies and hangs up on robocalls. Check with Nomorobo.com to see if your carrier has the simultaneous ring feature that enables the service," said Gilman.

While charitable calls still will get through, it may be worth asking the charities to mail their request and not to call you. They might just comply.

If you do manage to block most robocalls, don't worry, essential alerts such as school closings and flight changes will not be blocked.

And remember, if you get an unwanted call from an unknown area code, do not call it back.  It could be the "one ring" scam, to lure you into charges as high as $20.

So stay on guard, and don't waste your money.

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