Telemarketers, illegal robo calls, and phone scams can be annoying to many. As MPB's Mark Rigsby reports, some telemarketers continue to get around rules designed to protect you from the frustration of receiving unwanted phone calls.
Just last week, the Federal Trade Commission announced a $2.2 million civil penalty against a company for making robo calls to phone numbers on the "Do Not Call" registry. The FTC says the registry is working. The agency says it can't track the number of illegal calls people get, but complaints are rising.
Ian Barlow is in the agency's Bureau for Consumer Protection.
"We've recieved over 30 million complaints for Do Not Call violations. For fiscal year 2016 that number is over 5 million."
Here in Mississippi, the state Public Service Commission enforces the Mississippi Telephone Solicitation Act. Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley says the biggest problem protecting the more than 1,000,000 Mississippi phone numbers on the list is calls from companies outside the U.S.
"Unfortunately, 99% of the violators that we deal with are companies calling from a foreign country, or those who are trying to hide their true identity by altering the caller ID."
Presley says the PSC is planning to introduce this fall a caller ID program to alert customers to fraudulent numbers, and an app to report telemarketers directly to the state.