Stop calling! How to avoid unwanted telemarketers -

How to avoid telemarketers

Imagine the phone rings and you pick it up - but on the other end of the line is a telemarketer.

Jim Hudson says insurance or investments are just a few of the items telemarketers have tried to sell him.

Hudson says if he talks with a telemarketer, he usually asks them to put him on their "Do Not Call" list.

Under federal law, you can sue telemarketers who keep calling after you've told them not to. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act requires companies to keep a list indefinitely of people who don't want to be bothered by a telemarketer's call.

"You may actually be on the Do Not Call list and still be telemarketed, but once you ask the entity calling you to put you on their internal list they must do that and they must do that within 31 days," says Illinois Assistant Attorney General Jeff Feltman.

Feltman prosecutes consumer fraud for the Illinois Attorney General. He adds that after that period, if the company calls that could be a violation of the law. That can be costly for telemarketers in court - up to $500 per violation.

Depending on your state, you may have to file in a small claims court and a judge determines who's telling the truth.

That's why experts recommend you keep a diary near the phone -- to prove who called, when, and that you told them to put you on their Do Not Call list.

If you do take a telemarketer to court, be prepared for a fight.

"Now that doesn't mean we haven't been successful. We have," explains Feltman. "But it's not always a slam dunk."

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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