5 Tips to Stop Those Annoying Robo-Calls

What's Hot

23 Upgrades Under $50 to Make Your House Look AwesomeAround The House

Trump Worth $10 Billion Less Than If He’d Simply Invested in Index FundsBusiness

Do This or Your iPhone Bill May SkyrocketSave

11 Places in the World Where You Can Afford to Retire in StyleMore

19 Moves That Will Help You Retire Early and in StyleFamily

What You Need to Know for 2017 Obamacare EnrollmentFamily

8 Things Rich People Buy That Make Them Look DumbAround The House

50 Ways to Make a Fast $50 (or Lots More)Grow

32 of the Highest-Paid American SpeakersMake

The 35 Two-Year Colleges That Produce the Highest EarnersCollege

5 DIY Ways to Make Your Car Smell GreatCars

Amazon Prime No Longer Pledges Free 2-Day Shipping on All ItemsMore

More Caffeine Means Less Dementia for WomenFamily

7 Household Hacks That Save You CashAround The House

5 Reasons a Roth IRA Should Be Part of Your Retirement PlanGrow

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

Beware These 10 Retail Sales Tricks That Get You to Spend MoreMore

9 Tips to Ensure You’ll Have Enough to RetireFamily

The elections are almost here - but if you can't take even one more robo-call, here's how to make them stop.

You hear the phone ring, pick it up, and there’s nobody on the other end — just a recorded message.  Another victim of “robo-calling,” which is especially common during election season.

The practice may be terrifically annoying, but it isn’t illegal. Even if you’re signed up with the National Do Not Call Registry — which threatens telemarketers with fines of up to $16,000 per call — you can still receive robo-calls from certain organizations. The list of exempt groups includes companies you’ve done business with, political campaigns, non-profits, debt collectors and survey companies.

But just because the government won’t stop them doesn’t mean you can’t. Here are some things you can do that might help:

  1. If you get a pre-recorded message, try pressing  star-pound-zero (*#0) on your phone. A commenter on a New York Times article said this will disrupt the call, while an article on productivity blog Lifehacker says pressing the pound key will get you taken off that caller’s list altogether.
  2. Consider signing up at StopPoliticalCalls.org, a service run by non-profit group Citizens for Civil Discourse. They’ve started a registry similar to the national Do Not Call list, but specifically for discouraging political campaigns. There’s no law backing it, but they’ve gotten commitments to cut the calls from several political campaigns. You can get put on the list for free, though there are paid options as well.
  3. If you’re not already signed up, get on the National Do Not Call Registry. It’s free, and your number is never taken off the list. This should stop all telemarketing calls. It works with a cell phone or a landline number.
  4. If you’re still getting calls after being on the Do Not Call registry for a month, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission which manages the list. Sometimes enough complaints can get policy changed — that’s how most robo-calling got banned in 2009. If the call comes from an identifiable business, you should also report it to the Better Business Bureau.
  5. Read the terms and conditions for your purchases carefully. Buried in those agreements might be a clause agreeing to these annoying calls — and robo-calling isn’t illegal if you’ve opted in to receive it from someone, or if you’re already doing business with them. But if you’re getting calls from these people, you can still stop it by specific request. Call them and tell them to take you off their list — the Federal Trade Commission requires they comply. Keep a record of the date you make the request and follow up with the FTC if the business keeps calling.

If it’s online marketers you’re looking to get rid of, check out our story, Will “Do Not Track” Do For Computers What “Do Not Call” Did for Phones?

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 9 Tips to Ensure You’ll Have Enough to Retire

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,653 more deals!