“It doesn’t matter if you’re on the Do Not Call List,” Lois Greisman, associate director of marketing practices at the Federal Trade Commission, which investigates and takes action against illegal robocallers, tells the Wall Street Journal. “A lot of them are fraudulent calls and people who engage in fraud are not going to abide by the Do Not Call registry.”
If you receive one of these automated calls, especially one from a company you’ve never heard of or never done business with, you’re often presented with two options: press “1” to speak to a customer service rep (though the people on the phone are usually doing you a disservice), or press “2” to be removed from the caller’s list of customers.
Pressing “2” may work, but more than likely it does nothing more than end the call; and you’ll probably continue receiving calls. In some cases, it may actually put you on additional scam-bait lists, because the caller at least knows that it reached an active line owned by someone willing to pick up when an unfamiliar number calls.
Some exasperated readers have told us they pressed “1” because they knew they could at least then yell at a real person. Problem is, the simple act of pressing that “1” puts you on a so-called “hot” list of consumers. This list will be sold and resold and resold and you will now continue to get calls from additional scammers.
We’ve posted this before, but here is the best course of action for anyone who receives a scam robocall:
1. Hang up.
2. Do NOT press any buttons — even if it’s to try to remove yourself from the company’s list — as doing so may just lead the robocaller to call you more.
3. File a complaint with the FTC. You can do that online at FTC.gov or DoNotCall.gov, or by calling 1 877 FTC HELP.
Filing a complaint with the FTC won’t put an immediate end to your robocall hell, but the agency needs this info in order to build cases against these robocallers. Your complaint gets these robocallers on the FTC’s radar and likely bolsters other consumers’ complaints that have already been filed.