Avoiding Robocalls and Telemarketers

While many Canadians have dropped their landline service, most seniors still like to have a home phone that doesn’t require regular charging or complicated technology.  However, the number of “robocalls” or automated telemarketing calls can become very frustrating for older adults who rush to answer a call only to find out it’s a telemarketer trying to sell them something.

With upcoming elections, the number of these nuisance calls may increase dramatically in coming weeks and months. There are a few steps you can take before ripping the phone from the wall and calling it a day.

The first measure to reduce calls is to register your number with the National Do Not Call List through the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.  You can sign up online at the CRTC website (https://www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca/ ) or by calling 1-866-580-3625.

If you receive a call from a live person representing a charity, non-profit organization or political organizations, you can ask to be removed from their calling list.  Never confirm your name from an unknown caller;  this will likely only generate more calls.  Automated calls generally ask you to press 1 to direct you to a live person who will try to sell you something.  If there is silence, it’s probably from a robodialer, set up to direct your call to a salesperson after you say hello.  In cases like this it is best to hang up or even better not answer calls from unknown numbers.

Home phone services providers may also have call screening or privacy options which allow the user to block calls from private or unknown phone numbers.  Contact your local provider or visit their website for more information on these features.

It is recommended that home phone users take advantage of the call display feature to decide whether or not to take calls from numbers they do not recognize.  If a wrong number problem persists,  you may want to change your number and have it flagged to be non-published.

For more information about telemarketing in Canada and how to avoid calls and make a claim  visit the CRTC website at:  http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/info_sht/t1048.htm .