The first thing you might wonder is exactly how do these companies get your numbers anyways? By knowing these trade secrets, you can easily avoid the traps.
The most obvious way to collect numbers is with the phone book. While it's convenient to have your number listed, it's a telemarketing gold mine.
Leave your phone number unlisted. If they don't have it in the first place, you won't have to block telemarketing calls.
Next, consider all of the forms you fill out on a regular basis. Have you applied for a mortgage or store credit account?
How about making a charitable donation? What about the survey you filled out and the sweepstakes that you entered?
It would definitely be nice to win that free vacation, but keep in mind that all those places required you to fill in a form that included your name, address and phone number.
Once you willingly give out that information, those companies can not only use that for their own solicitors, but also sell your information again and again to other telemarketing companies, sometimes even outsourcing to offshore callers as well.
If you just can't resist these offers, use a PO box address and a dummy phone number.
Now that you have a better idea how your information gets out there, how do you stop all the unwanted calls?
There are several things to keep in mind in the fight against unwanted telemarketing calls.
First, take advantage of the federal Do Not Call List. Also, check to see if your state offers a registry to block telemarketing calls as well. Next, invest in a call screening system.
This can be as simple as having your phone equipped with caller ID and an answering machine.
Anything that comes between you and the telemarketer will be helpful. Don't answer calls that are unlisted or that have numbers that you do not recognize.
If it's a legitimate call, they can easily leave a message. Also, if you do inadvertently answer a call and hear a distinct pause, immediately hang up the phone.
Many automatic dialers wait to hear a voice before connecting, so this is a pretty good sign that you don't actually want to take the call.
Finally, keep a tight hold on your personal identity. If the companies that you deal with don't absolutely need your information, ask them to process your form without it.
By being aware of how companies collect your name and number, it's easy to close the flow of information before it ever hits your phone.
And, if telemarketers do get your number, it's possible to block telemarketing calls and vastly cut down on the annoyance that they cause.
Every poor lead that is associated with your number leads to a better chance of having you pruned off the calling list for good. With just a little bit of common sense, you can eliminate the telemarketing annoyance.
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