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Telemarketing Calls on the Rise

SLAC phone lines have been receiving many phone calls from telemarketers. These phone calls are often generated by an automatic dialing system and when answered are then transferred to a live telemarketing agent. Sometimes the automated system will hang up on you if it does not detect that you have answered the call and might call again later.

If you receive a phone call at SLAC from a telemarketer, be careful not to give out personal information or credit card numbers under pressure from them. Some telemarketers may be aggressive, call back several times, tell you they are calling from your bank or your credit card company, or even have the last four digits of one of your credit cards based on some earlier transaction with a completely different company.

They may offer vouchers for goods or services, discounts on prescription drugs or other goods, or want to verify your account information and then ask you for your full account or credit card information. Email messages might try the same approach. Don't be pressured or tricked into responding.

If you become connected with a live telemarketing agent, you can tell them that you are not interested and ask that they remove your number from their list or you will report them to the Federal Trade Commission if they call you again.

You do not need to report telemarketing calls to SLAC Security or Telecommunications, because we are already aware of them. We are not sure how the SLAC phone numbers got into the hands of telemarketers, but it is quite common for telemarketers to acquire phone number lists or to simply dial random numbers automatically by machine. However if you feel you are being harassed over the phone, you should report it to SLAC Security.

There is a national Do Not Call List in the USA that can eliminate most telemarketing calls, but it applies only to US residential phone lines. To register your US home phone, visit the seb site and follow the instructions there. You can register your cell phone numbers there as well, but Federal Communications Commission regulations already prohibit telemarketers from using automated dialers to call cell phone numbers.

—David Howard, Manager of SLAC Telecommunications
   SLAC Today, April 17, 2006