How to Block Solicitors' Phone Calls

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Unexpected or unwanted calls can be disruptive to your daily activities. Here's how to stop annoying calls from someone trying to sell you something or take your political temperature for a supposedly impartial poll.

Step 1

Add your phone number to the "National Do Not Call Registry" created by the U.S. government. Register online at donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222 from the phone you want added to the list. Adding your number to the list is free and is good for five years, after which you will need to add your number again.

Step 2

Do not give your number to companies and businesses or print your phone number on checks, unless it is necessary. In situations where you must give your phone number, ask them to not share it with other companies and telemarketers.

Step 3

Answer toll-free calls and tell them to add your phone number to their "Do Not Call" list, which the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 requires companies to maintain. Your phone number will stay on their list for 10 years. Nonprofit organizations are exempt from this law.

Step 4

Block your number from being displayed on caller IDs by dialing *67 before placing a call. This feature does not work when dialing 1-800 or 1-900 numbers.

Tips

  • Adding your number to the "National Do Not Call Registry" will not necessarily stop solicitation calls from political organizations, charities, survey companies and businesses with which you have an existing relationship.
  • Getting an unlisted number can reduce the number of solicitation calls you receive, but it will not stop calls from companies that dial phone numbers in sequential order generated by a computer.
  • Screen calls by having caller ID or letting your answering machine pick up the call first.
  • You can recognize an auto-dialer call when you answer the phone and there is a noticeable pause. Hang up before a sales representative connects on the line.

References

Resources

About the Author

Monica Sethi Datta has been writing health-related articles since 2007 and editing since 2008. She has been published by "The Raven," "Campus Connection," and "BIFOCAL," an American Bar Association journal. She holds a Juris Doctor and health law certificate from the University of Maryland School of Law.

Photo Credits

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