Last month, the Federal Trade Commission sent out a warning to consumers that spoofed emails were going out claiming to be from the FTC telling people their Do-Not-Call registration was expiring. These fake emails then directed consumers to a fake website, where they were asked to give their personal information to “renew” their Do-Not-Call registration. Unfortunately, consumers who did so, thinking they were helping to stop unwanted calls, will actually end up getting more scam phone calls now that the people running that fake website have their phone number.
As the FTC has warned, Do-Not-Call registrations do not expire. Once you have registered your phone numbers on the list, they stay on there unless you specifically ask to be taken off. If you haven’t already registered, or don’t remember if you have, you can do so at donotcall.gov or by calling (888) 382-1222 from the number you want to register.
When I’m traveling around the state talking with Kansas consumers about the Do-Not-Call list, I’m quick to point out that it’s far from perfect. Registering your number on the list only stops legitimate telemarketers from calling. It won’t stop those scam artists and offshore robo-callers who don’t care that they’re breaking the law by calling you.
That’s why we advise folks only to answer the phone if the call is coming from a number you know. Even then, scammers are getting more sophisticated at making their calls come from numbers you think you know – sometimes even making it look like the call is coming from your own number. So, once you know the call isn’t from someone you know, hang up right away.
Telcom companies can now use new software to block calls coming from known scam numbers – including numbers that are unassigned and therefore can’t be making legitimate phone calls. We are hopeful that this technology succeeds in cutting down the number of spam calls.
Learn more about this topic and other ways to protect yourself from scams and unwanted phone calls on our consumer protection website at www.InYourCornerKansas.org.