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Town News Releases

Posted on: August 15, 2017

Robocalls

For many of us robocalls have become an annoyance that interrupts our lives on a daily basis.  What is a Robocall?  When you answer your phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person.  There has been a significant increase in the number of illegal robocalls because internet-powered phone systems have made it cheap and easy for scammers to make illegal calls from anywhere in the world.  Scammers hide from law enforcement by displaying fake caller ID information.  Police Departments can do little in these cases, as it falls on the consumer and the Federal Agency that governs this issue.  

The Federal Trade Commission has brought more than a hundred lawsuits against over 600 companies and individuals responsible for billions of illegal robocalls and other Do Not Call violations.  Consumers can play a role in stopping robocalls.  Here is what you can do:

Do not answer calls from unfamiliar numbers.  Hang up the phone.  Do not press 1 to speak to a live operator and don't press any other number to get your number off the list.   If you respond by pressing any number, it will probably just lead to more robocalls.
Consider contacting your phone provider and asking them to block the number and whether they charge for that service.  Remember that telemarketers change Caller ID information easily and often, so it might not be worth paying a fee to block a number that will change.  
Register your number on the Do Not Call List, donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.
Report illegal robo-sales calls to the FTC at complaints.donotcall.gov 

Some prerecorded messages are permitted, for example, messages that are informational, reminders about an appointment or messages about a delayed school opening.  Prerecorded messages from a business that is contacting you to collect a debt also are permitted, but messages offering to sell you services to reduce your debt are barred.  For more information on Robocalls, visit the Federal Trade Commission website: https://www.ftc.gov    

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