SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – In case you haven’t noticed – annoying telemarketing calls are on the rise.
The Federal Communications Commission says complaints about illegal telemarketing calls are up 70% since last year, with most of those complaints are coming from people who are on the national Do Not Call registry.
Bay Area Travel Consultant Maria DeMarco files at least one complaint a day. “75 to 80% of the calls I get are telemarketing of one form or another,” DeMarco told ConsumerWatch. DeMarco said the annoying calls intensified earlier this year. She said the callers always try to sell her something.
“They want to help you with your mortgage, or they want to help you with web design. They want to help you with a new roof,” she said.
Jeff Abbe of the Federal Trade Commission, another federal agency that deals with telemarketing calls, said advances in technology are partly to blame for the upsurge. Those advances include computers that allow callers to dial more numbers and to “spoof” or hide their identity with fake caller ID’s.
“Fraudsters like to use really generic sounding words in caller ID’s like, ‘card services’ or ‘insurance company,’” he told ConsumerWatch.
Abbe advises call recipients to file an on-line complaint each time they receive a call, so federal investigators can track the worst offenders. Another option he said, is to not answer any call if you don’t recognize the caller’s number.
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