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Despite the laws and policies that are supposed to protect us from harassing phone calls from creditors, marketing calls from businesses, or general nuisance or pranks calls, we all know that irritation of receiving endless calls at all hours of the day and night.  Here are some tips to help reduce the number of unwanted calls.

Prank calls

Crank calls from kids may be some of the easiest to stop because they are not likely to have gone to great lengths to cover their tracks by blocking their number.  Very often it is as simple as hitting redial on your phone to be connected to the phone that made the call.  A return call from an adult is likely to put an end to it, but if your prankster continues to call, you could use a reverse phone lookup search to identify the owner of the number – which will very likely be the child’s parent.

Repeated missed calls from a number you don’t know

Chances are you have picked up your phone more than once to find several missed calls from the same number – and if they haven’t left a message, you are probably correct in guessing that they are calls from a telemarketer or some other business.  Still, if you have reason to think that the call might be related to something else, you can do a reverse look up to find out who is calling and once you are certain it is no one you want to hear from, you can block the number.  You can also search various message boards where people post information about telemarketing businesses and the numbers they call from.

Telemarketers

Legally, telemarketers are not allowed to call your phone number if you have registered with the national Do Not Call Registry.  It is important to understand, however, that this service applies specifically to sales calls, and will have no impact on debt collection, informational, survey, or other types of unsolicited calls. If you are receiving unwanted telemarketing calls 31 days after registering, you can file a complaint.  The challenge in this situation is that more and more it is becoming possible to “spoof” phone numbers – that is, to mask where a call is coming from, and so the Registry will not solve all problems.

Creditors and debt collectors

Creditors and collectors are allowed to call you, but they are not allowed to harass you.  They are prohibited from calling before 8:00am or after 9:00, are not allowed to call you at work, and are not allowed to call you repeatedly or to discuss your debt with other people. Despite these regulations, some collectors engage in harassing practices which can cause considerable stress.  and if you suspect that a creditor is the source of repeated calls, you can identify the caller through a lookup service or internet search and then make a complaint to the regulatory body in your state.  Simply blocking their number is not likely to solve the problem as they can simply switch to another phone.

Off course, threatening or intimidating phone calls should be reported immediately to the police and to your phone service provider – they have procedures that will help in these circumstances.