How to Block Local Call Charity Telemarketers

by Barb Nefer

The National Do Not Call Registry lets individuals in the United States opt out of telemarketing calls. Solicitors are not supposed to call your number after you add it to the registry through the federal website or toll-free number. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) explains that there are certain exemptions. Charities may call you to solicit donations, or hire telemarketers to do so, even if your number is registered. You can block these calls if you know the proper procedure.

Ask the caller if he works directly for the charity or if he works for a telemarketing firm that was hired to solicit funds. The FTC advises that for-profit firms working for charities must maintain internal do-not-call lists and add your telephone number upon request.

Tell the telemarketer you want your telephone number added to the internal do-not-call list for the charity if the call is from a hired for-profit firm. Explain that you will track future calls and report them to the government. The telemarketing firm could be subject to fines of up to $16,000 if it does not honor your request, according to the FTC.

Block the telephone number through your phone company or telephone if the charity is calling you directly. Direct charity callers are exempt from having to maintain an internal do-not-call list, but you can block them manually. Some phone service providers let you block incoming calls from specific telephone numbers. You can also purchase phones that can be programmed to block certain numbers.

Create a silent ring tone for your cell phone if a local charity is calling your cell number and does not honor do-not-call requests. The Productivity Portfolio technology website explains that you can assign the silent tone to the charity's telephone number. You won't hear its calls coming in because your phone won't ring.

Tip

  • You may get charity telemarketing calls that deliver a pre-recorded message or hang up before a live operator comes on the line. Listen to the entire message, as it may instruct you to punch a certain number to be removed from the call list. Call back the number on your caller ID if you get calls with no one on the line at all. You will often reach someone who can remove you from the list.

Warning

  • Some charity telemarketers transmit false caller ID information or use local telephone numbers to make you think they are from your area. Double check their actual location if you are thinking about making a donation. Ask for the exact name and address of the charity and a callback number. Double check the information online before giving any money. Block future calls if you discover that you were given misleading information.

About the Author

Based in Kissimmee, Fla., Barb Nefer is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience. She is a mental health counselor, finance coach and travel agency owner. Her work has appeared in such magazines as "The Writer" and "Grit" and she authored the book, "So You Want to Be a Counselor."

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