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If you’ve ever used a phone, you know how frustrating it can be receiving a call from someone soliciting goods or services. To deepen that annoyance, you learn it’s not even a human on the other end of the line.
Last month, the Federal Trade Commission passed a ban on those “Robo-callers.” Telemarketers can be fined up to $16,000 for some of these solicitations. But not all. You can still receive calls from politicians, some non-profits and various others.
But what about other sources of irritation, like live telemarketers on the phone, spam in your email box and junk in the mailbox outside? Every day, we’re bombarded with junk. So, what can you do to make it all stop?
- To stop junk “snail mail” for credit or insurance, you either go to optoutprescreen.com, or call 888-5OPTOUT. That doesn’t stop all junk, but it will help.
- When it comes to email, sign up for a personal account to share with people you trust and a private account to use online when you shop or post. Then don’t ever give out the private one. Ever.
- What about unsolicited phone calls? Your defense is the “do-not-call list.” Put your name on it by going to donotcall.gov or calling 888-382-1222. And if someone does call you after your name is on that list, report them to the BBB or FTC.
One more thing, once a year you’re going to get mail from lenders and other companies you do business with, asking if it’s ok for them to share your personal information with other companies. Don’t throw these away: return them and to quote Nancy Reagan: “just say no.”