There are many ways that telemarketers, debt collectors, scammers, and others can get a hold of your phone number, regardless of whether or not you’re on the No Call List. Think of all the offers opted into, where you share your phone number in order to get a good or service. You could be entering a random contest or drawing, applying for a credit card, making an online purchase, signing up for a cell phone, satellite or cable TV contract.
Phone numbers can be obtained from social media sites too, depending on if your privacy settings are set to low or public. This is why it’s so important to be discrete with your information and to read agreements, as to whether your information will be shared with third parties for marketing purposes.
Giving to charities is a good thing, but find out what the charity intends to do with your information and your money. Are they keeping your information in house or do they share it with other groups? Does the money go to help the cause or to pay for other expenses? You can find out answers to this question by checking with the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org.
Another way that your phone number can be obtained is by calling toll-free or “900” numbers. Your number can be added to a list along with all the other numbers that call and used commercially.
Many companies maintain lists of all the numbers that have called them and purchase numbers from other companies to increase their marketing capabilities. It’s always good to mindful of this.
Also be aware that we do have laws in place that are to minimize unwanted calls. If a caller or business is in violation of the No Call Rule, then report the call to your state’s Attorney General and/or the Federal Trade Commission. These government agencies are actively in pursuit of thwarting attempts of telephone violators in breaking laws, but they need your help in doing this. By reporting a problem, you can be a part of the solution to end unwanted calls.
Unfortunately, these agencies are limited to stopping calls made within the United States. For international calls that’s a whole different ball game. The best remedy to avoid those calls, for now, is to screen your calls. Either do this with an answering machine or caller ID.
For more questions or concerns about the No Call List or nuisance calls, contact your BBB. We’re glad to help!
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/5101201092/”>Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>