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Unwanted or Harassing Phone Calls Can Be Stopped

Learn how to stop unwanted or harassing phone calls from telemarketers and collectors.

An increasing number of people are receiving unwanted calls and text messages on their phones; these calls often come at inconvenient times, use up data and minutes, and clog voice mails. Luckily, consumers who receive unwanted calls can take efforts to reduce the number of calls and sometimes even collect money if callers don’t quit.

The first step if you are receiving unwanted calls is to register your number at the National Do Not Call Registry: https://www.donotcall.gov/ . (You can also call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone you want to register).  You can register home and mobile numbers, and it’s free.

Registering a number means that unsolicited calls from nearly everybody should stop. There are exceptions (charities, surveys, and political campaigns are excepted). It may take as long as 31 days for the number to show up on every company’s list, but you should see some relief. 

Registering won’t stop calls from people you’ve recently done business with, or who you’ve given permission to call, or debt collectors. To stop those people from calling, you have to take  few more steps:

First, do not give your phone number to businesses. Oftentimes, surveys, contest entries, and applications may ask for a phone number. If you are required to give the number, note the company you are giving the number to.  Many companies sell these numbers or provide them to affiliates, and you may be agreeing to let them do that.

Once someone calls you and you realize it is an unwanted call, answer the call. Get the name of the company, the identification of the employee, and the reason they are calling. Then tell that person that you are revoking permission to call you at that number and they should not do so any more.

You can also provide the person calling with information about better and worse times to call you; if you have times that your children are asleep or you need your phone to be open, for example, tell the person that and request that they refrain from calling you during those times.

No person should call you repeatedly throughout the day or call you repeatedly without leaving a message.

No debt collector can call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. No debt collector should leave a message that gives information about your finances without being certain that it is a private message, and all debt collectors are supposed to provide you with information about who they are and why they are calling.

If the calls and texts do not stop after you’ve taken these steps, contact one of Lawton & Cates’ lawyers. State and federal laws protect your right to be free from harassing and unwanted cell phone calls, and our team of lawyers can take steps to stop the calls, and collect damages for the intrusion into your privacy they’ve caused. 

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