‘Do Not Call' List Isn't Working: Consumers

Despite being on the "Do Not Call" list, Paula Patton of Grandview said her phone is ringing off the hook with robocalls.

In Texas, the Public Utility Commission offers the free Do Not Call list, which is supposed to give the public some peace of mind. Consumers can register a telephone number to reduce the amount of telemarketers that call them.

But Patton said she has signed up every year and the number of calls have actually gone up.

“I know they can't stop them,” she said.

An official with the Public Utility commission of Texas acknowledged the department has had limited success with putting an end to robocalls. Technology is to blame. It’s made it easier and inexpensive for illegal operators to make millions of unwanted calls.

Many calls made to mobile phones are not regulated by states, which is why the federal Do Not Call list is so important.

But Patton said she has signed up for that one, too. The calls keep coming.

According to the FCC, a big problem with unwanted robocalls is “spoofing,” when callers provide a false caller ID display to disguise their identity. There’s also the “ringless voicemails," where messages go straight to your voicemail without ringing your phone.

The FCC is cracking down on these calls as well, recently imposed a record fine of $120 million dollars on Miami man who was behind a massive spoofing operation.

Patt said she plans to continue to add her number to the Do Not Call lists, but she isn't getting her hopes up.

“I don't think they'll ever stop it," she said. "I wish, but I don't think so.”

If you're like most consumers and want to put an end to robocalls, here are Samantha Chatman’s Solutions:

• Don't answer any unfamiliar calls. An answered call notifies the telemarketer that the number is active and encourages more calls to that number.
• Don't press any numbers and don't wait to speak with an agent. That'll usually lead to more calls.
• Consider downloading apps that help to block robocalls.
• If you have signed up for the do not call list but are still getting calls, report it to the FCC at consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us/requests/new

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