As we reported in our blog post last year, there has been an upsurge in scam calls to seniors in Rhode Island. Naturally, this can cause rightful concern in both seniors and their family members, and requires constant vigilance anytime the phone rings.
But even leaving aside the work of fraudsters, unwanted calls from telemarketers and other salespeople can also impinge on seniors’ peace of mind and serenity, especially when the intrusions occur late at night, early in the morning, or at meals times.
Fortunately, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a solution: the National Do Not Call Registry, that allows individuals to be put on a list of those who request not to be contacted by such unwanted callers.
The Registry allows individuals to:
- Register a home or mobile phone for free;
- After registration, report unwanted calls that still persist.
The procedure is straightforward: The senior or a family member must visit the website donotcall.gov or can call 1-888-382-1222 from the landline or mobile phone number that is intended to be added to the Registry. (Online registrations are confirmed by email, and must be confirmed by clicking on an embedded link within 72 hours.) Typically, the phone number is added to the Registry within 24 hours, and sales calls to the number should stop within 31 days of being added.
Note that even after registering a senior may still receive calls from certain types of organizations, such as charities, political groups, debt collectors, and certain surveyors. Also, companies with whom the senior has recently done business are still permitted to call, as are those organizations to whom the senior has specifically given written permission to do so.