When we all put our phone numbers on the "Do Not Call" Registry years ago, we thought that was it. No more telemarketers, ever, right?


I'm sure you've noticed that you're still getting these calls on a regular basis. I know I have. It's annoying.

There's a trick these callers are using called "Caller ID Spoofing", and another one known as "Neighbor Spoofing": they can simply change their phone number so it appears different on your caller ID each time, sometimes extremely close to your own, with perhaps only one or two digits off.

Experts say callers cannot participate in this method if they intend to do any harm or commit fraud. Apparently, being annoying by way of the simple act of trying to sell you something does not qualify as harm or fraud. It's just annoying. It doesn't become fraud until you fall for it. So don't.

Your only recourse? List, or re-list yourself on the "Do Not Call" registry, painstakingly block every unfamiliar number as it comes in--a waste of time, as they can just keep constantly changing their number--or if you suspect a scam, like an attempt to steal your personal information, call the police.

My personal suggestion, and I'm sorry if it seems blatantly obvious: never answer calls from an unfamiliar number. That doesn't help in the case of an unexpected emergency, so, unfortunately, telemarketing calls are something we're just going to have to live with for the most part.

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