Now there's a 'do not call' list scam
We all love the Do Not Call Registry, which keeps telemarketers at bay. So beware of scammers pretending to sign you up for the list.
This post comes from MSN Money contributor Mitch Lipka.
Nuisance phone calls are annoying enough, but how about getting one pretending to be from the government program that's intended to stop them?
The Federal Trade Commission is warning of a scam in which callers claim to be from the FTC and its Do Not Call Registry. What they are looking for is personal information -- the type of information that can be used for identity theft.
A warning to consumers about the scam is splashed in red across the top of the official DoNotCall.gov website.
"Scammers have been making phone calls claiming to represent the National Do Not Call Registry," the warning reads. "The calls claim to provide an opportunity to sign up for the Registry. These calls are not coming from the Registry or the Federal Trade Commission, and you should not respond to these calls."
A couple of variations have been reported. Among them is a request to renew your registration. When the registry was initially established in 2003 to help consumers limit the number of telemarketing calls they receive, there was a provision that required consumers to renew the registration if they wanted to remain on the list. In 2008, however, the renewal requirement was eliminated and any number on the list remains on the list.
Other spins on the scam involve asking to confirm that the registration information is still valid and asking whether the call recipient would like to sign up for the registry. The official site allows consumers to verify that their number is included in the registry and also allows for the registration of numbers. The FTC does not call around soliciting for people to add to the registry, nor does the agency call those on it to ask for personal information.
If you get such a call, you're urged to hang up.
The way the registry is supposed to work is, within a month after you have added a number -- a home phone or mobile -- to the registry, certain telemarketing calls should stop. However, the registry does not halt calls from politicians, charities or companies you do business with. And outright scammers -- like those offering to retool credit card interest rates or sell auto warranties -- tend to not follow telemarketing sales rules.
But you can file complaints through the DoNotCall.gov site against callers that appear to be breaking the rules, which could lead to FTC action.
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