Consumer Reports: Stopping Robocalls

Monday, Feb 17, 2014  |  Updated 11:40 PM EDT
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Robocalls — with prerecorded messages — have been limited by law in recent years, but unscrupulous telemarketers are continuing the onslaught. Consumer Reports has advice on how to get rid of those unwanted phone solicitations.

Robocalls — with prerecorded messages — have been limited by law in recent years, but unscrupulous telemarketers are continuing the onslaught. Consumer Reports has advice on how to get rid of those unwanted phone solicitations.

You’re probably all too familiar with those irritating sales calls that come just as you’re sitting down to dinner. Robocalls — with prerecorded messages — have been limited by law in recent years, but unscrupulous telemarketers are continuing the onslaught. Consumer Reports has advice on how to get rid of those unwanted phone solicitations.

First, register your cell and home phone numbers at DoNotCall.gov. But be aware that charities and political candidates are still allowed to call, although it may be worth asking whether the charities will mail their requests rather than call you.

Even if you are on the Do Not Call Registry, some brazen telemarketers may still contact you because enforcing the rules on unwanted marketing calls is tough.

To help limit robocalls, Consumer Reports says, hang up and don’t press any buttons. If you do, the autodialer registers that a person answered and may keep calling.

If you have caller ID on your phone, report the robocaller’s number via the DoNotCall.gov website.

There’s also a new free service called Nomorobo, which identifies and hangs up on robocalls. Check with Nomorobo.com to see whether your carrier has the simultaneous ring feature that enables the service.

If you do manage to block most robocalls, don’t worry, you’ve only blocked telemarketers. Essential alerts such as school closings and flight changes will not be blocked.

Complete ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars and trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports' website.

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