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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > August 2014 > How to Handle Unwanted Phone Calls

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How to Handle Unwanted Phone Calls

Reports to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office indicate that unwanted phone calls continue to be a nuisance for many consumers. Because such intrusions have the potential to rob people of time and money, the Attorney General’s Office works hard to educate consumers on how to reduce unwanted calls.

Consider declining to share personal information, such as your name or phone number, when shopping. Some companies may compile and sell your personal information to firms that may use this information to solicit you through the mail or via a phone call. In some cases, it may also end up in the hands of scammers. If a company requests such information, ask why they need it and how they will protect it.
Consumers can also reduce unwanted phone calls by adding their number to the National Do Not Call Registry. However, be aware that political and charitable calls and surveys are exempt from the registry. Additionally, if a consumer has established a business relationship with the caller by purchasing products within the past 18 months or responding to an inquiry within the past three months, the calls are exempt from the registry.
Attorney General DeWine offers consumers these tips for handling unwanted calls:
  • Put your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. Your registration is permanent, but if your phone number changes, you must register your new phone number. Register at or by calling 888-382-1222. You can register landlines and cell phones. 
  • Ask to be put on a business’ internal do not call list. In addition to complying with rules of the National Do Not Call Registry, telemarketers must maintain an internal list of consumers who ask them to stop calling.
  • Watch for scams, and don’t trust caller ID. In some cases, unwanted calls come from scam artists outside the U.S. “Spoofing” occurs when scammers use technology to conceal their true phone number and trick consumers into thinking the call is from a local business or financial institution. Listen to the content of the call and be wary of callers who ask for personal information or money sent via wire-transfer or prepaid cards. Banks and government organizations would not contact you unexpectedly and request personal information or payment by wire-transfer or prepaid card.
Consumers with questions about unwanted phone calls should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office by visiting or calling 800-282-0515.