News : Telemarketing Calls Not Going Away
San Diego, CA, USA, March 13, 2015 -- Wendy Platt says sometimes, she's not sure why she picks up her home phone when it rings.
"Most of the calls I get on the landline are from telemarketers or recorded messages," said Platt.
When Nancy Collins hears her phone ring, she almost hates to pick it up.
"Fifty percent of those crazy calls I get are just computerized," said Collins.
Even with the long standing Do Not Call list, calls from telemarketers may be getting even worse. Lois Greisman with the Federal Trade Commission said complaints are skyrocketing.
The FTC gets anywhere from 250,000 to 300,000 complaints every month with more than 60 percent about computerized robocalls.
Christina Waddell says 80 percent of the calls she gets on her home phone are unwanted.
"We have two geriatrics that live with us and my mom has been scammed," said Waddell. " These guys are good."
Paul Greenwood with the San Diego District Attorney's Office works elderly abuse cases. He said telemarketers often target seniors.
"It's not just an annoying situation," said Greenwood, "it can be very abusive and intrusive and scary at the same time."
So if the calls are illegal, why do they keep calling? Experts say today's telemarketers are almost impossible to stop.
By making calls over internet connections, telemarketers can be calling from anywhere in the world. They often "spoof" their numbers, which means they can hide behind any phone number they choose.
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Susan Grant with Consumer Federation of America said, "If this were a disease, it would be an epidemic."
But Paul Greenwood said, "Unfortunately we don't have a cure for the epidemic."
He said he'd like to see more attempts at law enforcement, even if the people behind the calls are outside the United States.
"Bring them back," said Greenwood. "Make a show case out of it because we've got to get the message out there."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, March 16, 2015
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