Scam of the day – February 10, 2013 – Do Not Call Registry scam

Let me emphasize right at the start, the Federal Do Not Call Registry is not a scam.  In fact it is a good way to limit the calls you receive from legitimate telemarketers.  I say “legitimate telemarketers” because scammers, as typified by calls from “Rachel” of card services do not pay attention to the Do Not Call Registry.  Once you have registered your telephone number on the Do Not Call Registry, which is operated by the Federal Trade Commission, legitimate telemarketers will stop calling you, however, the law does permit you to be called by charities and political organizations.  Presently there is a scam going on in which you receive a phone call from an identity thief posing as someone representing the Do Not Call Registry and you are told that your registration on the list has expired and you need to re-register or that they need to verify information.  In both instances, they then ask for your Social Security number.  In the hands of an identity thief, your Social Security number is the key to becoming a victim of identity theft as this information can be used to open accounts and make purchases in your name.

TIPS

The Do Not Call Registry will never call you on the telephone and once you have registered, you never need to re-register.  Your registration is permanent unless you revoke your authorization.  It is also important to remember that when you do register for the Do Not Call Registry you do not need to provide your Social Security number.  Always be wary of anyone with whom you do business who asks for your Social Security number.  Although it is far from perfect, the Do Not Call Registry is a good way to dramatically reduce the number of calls that you receive from telemarketers.  You can either register online at www.donotcall.gov or by phone at 888-382-1222.  These are the only two ways to register for the Do Not Call Registry.  Any other telephone number or email address is a phony.  It is also important to remember that even though charities and political organizations are permitted to call you even if you are on the Do Not Call Registry, you should not give your personal information such as your credit card number over the phone to anyone who calls you unless you are positive that they are legitimate.  Phony charities often call and persuade people to make donations by way of their credit card over the phone.  If you are contacted by a charity or a political organization that you believe is worthy of your donation, you should contact that charity or political organization independently either at a phone number or a website that you know is accurate.  You never can be sure of who the other person is on the line when someone calls you.