Whether you recently purchased medicine from a particular drug company or you're pretty sure you're the victim of a scam, you can stop pharmacy telemarketers from calling your home or cell phone. If just saying "no" doesn't stop the calls, registering your phone number, complaining to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and blocking phone numbers are your best bets. Scammers pretending to be pharmacy telemarketers often won't stop calling when asked, so their calls can persist even after trying the recommended routes. In extreme cases, changing your phone number may be the only way to stop them.
Get on the Do Not Call List
Register on the Federal Trade Commission's National Do Not Call Registry. You can sign up online at: donotcall.gov or call toll-free at 888-382-1222. To register your number, call the registry from the same number the pharmacy telemarketers are calling. You should get fewer of these calls within 31 days of signing up. A pharmaceutical company that you recently did business with or that obtained written permission from you to call can legally continue to call you for 18 months, even if you're on the registry. If you didn't buy anything from the company or ever give it permission to call you, it's likely a scam.
Just Say "No" or Say Nothing at All
When you receive a pharmacy telemarketing call, ask the person to remove you from the call list. If you ask a company not to call you, it must legally honor your request. If you're getting illegal sales calls or automated calls, known as robocalls, from scammers, don’t interact with them after you answer the call. Pressing buttons, requesting to be taken off of the call list, and talking to a live person likely just leads to more calls. Even after registering on the do not call list, hanging up on a pharmaceutical telemarketer once can result in at least two more unwanted calls, especially if it's a scam, according to the FTC.
Report the Calls to the FTC
Report every pharmaceutical telemarketing call to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. Complaints help drive FTC investigations and cases, and the data is shared with law enforcement agencies. By reporting the call to the FTC each time, you help the agencies place the information in databases, monitor trends and initiate investigations. You can file a complaint about robocalls even if you're not registered on the Do Not Call list.
Block the Calls
Your cell phone provider or landline phone company may be able to block multiple calls that come from the same number, but there can be a fee for this service. Also, consider online call-blocking services, call-blocking boxes and smartphone apps that block the unwanted pharmaceutical telemarketing calls. Before purchasing or subscribing to a call-blocking service, research expert and user reviews online. Blocking calls doesn't always work on scam calls. Current technology allows scammers to fake caller ID information, meaning the number that appears on your phone may not be real. These are known as spoofs, and blocking the number may not get rid of these calls.
Get the Word Out
Take a proactive approach to stop pharmaceutical telemarketing scams by notifying family, friends and coworkers of these warning signs:
- Callers ask for money.
- They ask for your bank account or credit card information.
- They want your Social Security number.
- They say they are government or law enforcement officials.
You can also subscribe to the FTC's blog for consumer news and scam alerts at consumer.ftc.gov/blog.