PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Those annoying telemarketing calls are increasing.

That’s what the Federal Trade Commission says, reporting consumer complaints have jumped 63 percent since 2011.

“Especially automated messages just annoy me. I’d rather talk to a person,” noted one person.

New technology has allowed unscrupulous marketers to circumvent federal and state Do-Not-Call lists.

“What it does is lowers the cost of making those telemarketing calls which means more telemarketing calls get made,” Carnegie Mellon University professor Michael Smith told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.

Smith says technology also lets telemarketers make the calls from other countries.

“Using the internet to make these calls makes it easier to off-shore the telemarketing operations which is outside the jurisdiction of the FCC and other legal entities in the United States,” added Smith.

The government reports 145,000 complaints were filed by Pennsylvanians last year alone.

And some admit that they have not yet put all their phones — including mobile phones — on the Do-Not-Call lists.

Even if you are on the list, it won’t block all calls, says Duquesne University professor Audrey Guskey.

“If it’s a charitable organization, they are allowed to call you. If you’ve done business with that organization, they’re allowed to call you. If you’ve approved of that company calling you, maybe on purpose or maybe not knowing that you have given them permission to call you, they are allowed to call you,” noted Guskey.

And, of course, politicians made sure all political calls were allowed, too.

People have developed their own defense to these calls.

One is Caller ID.

“I see Portland, Oregon. I don’t know anyone there, so I don’t answer,” said one person.

Here’s the easiest.

“I just hang up,” another said. “I don’t even take the time to listen to them.”

If you haven’t registered all your telephones on the Federal Do-Not-Call Lists, here’s the link: https://donotcall.gov/

And here’s the link to the Pennsylvania Do-Not-Call List: https://dnc.attorneygeneral.gov/


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