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Nuts & Bolts

October 25, 2012

What if you could permanently block telemarketers and debt collectors?

PrivacyStar, a new smartphone app, lets you block calls and report violations to the feds

(Continued)

“Another popular feature is the post-call lookup,” Stalnaker explains. “If you step away and get a cup of coffee or leave your phone for a few minutes and you come back and all you have is ten digits in your call log and you’re not sure who they’re from, even though the call has ended—whether they left a message or not—it’s very easy just to look up with PrivacyStar and we’ll tell you that was XYZ that called you.”

The app also has a feature called SmartBlock that gathers the top 25 blocked numbers from all of its users and provides a list for customers on a biweekly basis. And if you choose, PrivacyStar will block those numbers for you, even if those callers never tried to contact you before.

Ignoring the rules

Stalnaker also says the Do Not Call list was effective when it was first introduced, but eventually telemarketers and debt collectors were able to work themselves around the restrictions pretty effectively.

“What you’re finding now quite frankly, is a lot of telemarketers are simply ignoring the rules,” he said. You have a couple different buckets of telemarketers. You have the telemarketers that are just ignoring the rules, and in some cases maybe even downloading the Do Not Call list under the auspices that they’re going to screen their outbound calls and actually calling people on the Do Not Call list.”

“You have a lot of telemarketers that frankly just aren’t aware of the rules,” Stalnaker adds. “They think it’s a quick way to generate revenue, so they just don’t know it. Then you really have the legitimate telemarketers that are calling but may not have a process to actually check the Do Not Call list before they make outbound phone calls.”

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