New Programs Helping To Stop Unwanted Telemarketers, Robocalls

PITTSBURGH (CBS) — Millions of people are on the national “Do Not Call” registry. But many still receive unwanted phone calls from telemarketers and computerized robocalls.

Experts say there’s a way you can stop all those unwanted calls.

The Call Blocker by Sentry pretends to answer a person’s home phone, and only lets callers through if they press the number “one” button. The technology keeps robocalls from getting through.

Homeowners like Laura Miller say they’ve stopped receiving the unwanted calls.

“I just forward anyone that’s calling… they’re going to get that message,” says Miller.

But there is a catch. Many people don’t realize that the technology only works for calls originating from outside your home state.

Pennsylvania has its own “Do Not Call” law, but politicians, charities and companies you agree to do business with are exempt. If you’d like to sign up for the national “Do Not Call” registry, click here.

The Federal Trade Commission warns consumers, though, that some scammers have been making phone calls claiming to represent the “Do Not Call” registry, offering a free sign-up.

The calls are fake, and anyone who receives one should not respond or hang up immediately.

There are services out there that claim to block all unwanted calls. Anonymous Call Rejection says it can block them. The service is free. You just dial “* 77” to block the calls.

If you get unwanted calls on your cell phone, you can download apps to fix the problem.

Privacy Star screens incoming calls and rates them with a red, yellow or green system. It automatically figures out who can get through based on your calling activity and caller history.

No-Mo Robo is also free. The service won the Federal Trade Commission’s Robocall Challenge.

It screens out illegal calls and telemarketers, but it only works if you get your phone service through your cable provider.

For more information, visit the website of Pennsylvania’s Office of Consumer Advocate here.

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