As robocalls increase, Cleveland residents say telemarketers are using more creative tactics

CLEVELAND - Do your home and cell phones seem to ring more than ever? In 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) got five million complaints from consumers upset over telemarketing robocalls and "do not call" list violations.

Cleveland resident Lawanda Prude can attest to the problem.

“It’s a daily thing, and it’s all day,” Prude said.

Many of the calls are from out of state or out of the country and, Prude said, telemarketers are getting tricky.

“When you block them they call from a different number. They’re calling from 216 or 330 area codes. Any which way they can get you,” she said.

Know your rights:

  • Wireless and landline home phones are protected against telemarketing robocalls made without prior written consent from the recipient.
  • Ask your phone company to offer robocall-blocking technology for which the FCC has now given the legal approval.
  • File a complaint

Source: FCC.gov

Janice Kopec of the FTC offers some advice for dealing with robocalls.

“Don’t say yes, don’t give your name, don’t press anything to supposedly unsubscribe. Just hang up: That’s the best thing to do,” she said.

Kopec said the "do not call" list helps, but only to a degree.

“I know it’s hard to believe, but if you were not registered on the 'do not call' list, you would actually be getting more calls than you are now,” Kopec said.

The FTC wants phone companies to create technology to help consumers stop robocalls.

“The phone industry needs to keep working on better blocking solutions available for their subscribers,” Kopec said. 

To register with the "Do Not Call" Registry, call 1-888-382-1222.

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