The telephone is most definitely something that we all need and use. What we don't need is some yahoo calling us at all hours either a live person or a recorded message, some of which try to trick you into believing that they are a real human. Some days at my house are worse than others. Yesterday, we set a record of 15 telemarketers or robocalls in one day. There are some things that you can do that may help reduce some of these nuisance calls.
In researching some about this topic, I learned a few tricks myself. First of all be sure that you are registered in the DO NOT CALL REGISTRY. You can find out by going on the Federal Trade Commission website. It will ask you to put your number in and then they will send you an e mail about whether you are verified and in the system. At my house we have two cell phones and one land line phone. I am trying desperately to get rid of the landline phone but we are a democracy in this house and the other person is not ready to give it up. So meanwhile it stays until we can come to an agreement about it.
Even with being verified that all of our phones are on the List, we still get way too many calls. The FTC has given some suggestions of what to do if you receive these annoying calls.
~ File a complaint with the FTC, which does require you to write the time and day, name of the company and the number they used to call you. You can report the call on their website or by calling their number 888-382-1222. The DO NOT CALL list does not take care of political calls, charitable calls, debt collectors, or surveys. But most definitely when they say that are from the IRS, Social Security, Microsoft Windows or a company that you do not do business with they are trying to scam information from you. Be sure to report these if you are trying to stop these predators.
~ Never answer yes if they ask if they are speaking to Miss ______. These are professional scammers and they can take that recording of you saying yes and place it in an audio claiming you said yes to purchasing whatever they were selling.
~ Also never press numbers. They may say press 1 if you want to talk to someone about this call or press 2 to be removed from their call list. If you press anything, you will be on their permanent cycle of calls. Possibly it would send you to some live person who speaks with a heavy accent and always has the name of Bob or Harry and wants all kind of private financial information in order to help you.
~ Next it is suggested that you just don't answer the phone if it is a number that you do not recognize or hang up before they get two words out of their mouth. I usually need to answer due to calls from service technicians calling to tell me they are on their way, or a doctor's office or a business using a private number. I have chosen to just hang up on the ones I do not know. If they are a real human, which is not always easy to tell, order them to never call again and tell them that you are reporting them. I have a good friend who has a loud ear piercing whistle that she blows into the phone.
~ There are some apps, which are free, that may help. Your cell phone company may be able to assist you in finding the right one for you. There is a free app that seems to work well called nomorobo. It has caught a few spam risk calls and I just don't answer them. Then I go in my cell recent calls and block that number. They just keep getting new numbers all the time.
Sharing this frustration with friends helps all of us to vent and I have discovered some creative ways to have fun with these people who insist on invading our privacy. Why not turn the table on them and make it a game.
Here are a few of the responses that I have been told about:
1. Ms. Miles will be happy to speak to you. Her billing rate is $500 an hour. If you'll give me your credit card number now, I'll book a time slot just for you. 'click'
2. What are you wearing ? 'click'
3. So sorry. I am busy now but give me your number and I can call you back. 'click'
4. You are so lucky. You are the hundredth caller today. You win a special prize. Hold on for 30 minutes and I'll go get it for you. 'click'
5. I just had a great session with my shrink and I'm dying to share this breakthrough I had. 'click'
6. Hey, great timing. I need you to settle an argument between my husband and me. 'click'
7. I am so glad you called. I just finished memorizing the Gettysburg Address. Can I try it out on you? 'click'
8. I'm working on jokes for my next Toastmaster's meeting. Knock knock! 'click'
9. I just got my online certification in astrology. Tell me your birthday and I'll give you your horoscope for the day. 'click'
10. Oh, I thought you were my ride. Can you Uber a car for me? 'click'
11. Sheriff's Department, how may I help you? 'click'
12 My puppy has been doing the cutest things all morning. Give me your number and I will text you his pictures. 'click'
I will leave you with the lyrics of this great song that Jeff Lynne sang in ELO. Maybe thinking about some good music will help the feeling of frustration we get from all of the unwanted scammers.
Doo da wop doo bee doo da wop do lang