If you are a Medicare beneficiary, chances are you get a lot of annoying phone calls. Here are the top ways to stop getting spam calls, so you can get back to your day in peace and quiet.
The do not call list
The first step is to get on the do not call list. To register for the Do Not Call list, call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone number you wish to be on the list. Or, you can register online at www.DONOTCALL.gov. To register online, you’ll need to enter an active email address. It’s important to register both your home phone and your cell phone so you don’t keep getting annoying spam calls.
If you continue to get calls after your number has been on the registry for 31 days, you can file a complaint on this page.
Who can still call me?
There are certain organizations that are still allowed to call you even if your number is on the do not call list. Those are:
- Opinion survey firms
- Political organizations
- Debt collectors
- For-profit companies with which you’ve done business in the past
Other tips to stop annoying phone calls
If someone calls “on behalf of” a charity, chances are they work for a for-profit telemarketing company. In that case, you can ask to be taken off their list and off the charity’s list.
When someone calls, don’t confirm it’s you if they ask – simply ask them why they are calling. If a telemarketer does get you on the phone, explicitly ask to be taken off their list.
If there’s a couple seconds of silence when you say hello, it’s a robocall waiting to connect you to a live person in a call center. In these cases, just hang up. Another automated call function is the call will ask you to press 1 – don’t so this as it will only confirm your identity and lead to more calls.
Fraudsters can put fake numbers on your caller ID, so it’s hard to trust Caller ID anymore. The best way to avoid these scam calls is not to answer if it’s a number you don’t know.
On cell phones, you can easily block spam callers as well.
If it’s debt collectors who are bothering you, learn more about stopping debt collector phone calls on the Federal Trade Commission’s FAQs on debt collection.
The bottom line
Medicare will not call you asking for your personal information. If someone calls claiming to be from Medicare, it’s a spam caller. Similarly, your bank or other important accounts won’t contact you asking for your personal information. If you receive an email from your bank or Apple account (for example) asking for your information, these are spam emails. If you need to talk to your bank or Medicare, call their official phone numbers.
The most important thing to remember is to never give out your personal or credit card information over the phone, especially if it’s someone you don’t know. Also, the more people who have your information, the more people will call you. Read the fine print when signing up for services, and keep your information to yourself whenever possible.