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What can you do? Dan Hendrickson, communications director for the local Better Business Bureau, says, “Hang up, and don’t do anything they tell you do.” If you’re on a do-not-call list — which I should note appears to be as useful as a piece of paper used as a shield against a rocket-propelled grenade — keep track of the calls, because you can sue them if you’re so inclined. If you can find them.
A year ago the government asked for telemarketer solutions and offered a cash prize. Apparently “read the innumerable detailed complaints and use your authority to shut them down” is beyond their powers. The best idea: You could punch a three-digit code that automatically added 99 cents to the caller’s bill. I thought it was a great idea.
Now I think of a guy in Arden Hills opening up his phone bill, noting that he owes $47,934, and thinking his daughter called the 1-900 Boy-Band Fan Club Update line every night, unaware it involved long-distance charges to Mongolia, and fell asleep without hanging up.
Spoofing real numbers: Beware. It could happen to anyone. If you get a call from me, I apologize in advance.
But if you do need auto insurance, and they quote you a great rate, well, sure. You’re welcome!
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