Central Coast

Dear Jon: Telephone scams don't have to victimize you

The "Do Not Call" registry is one tool you can use

Phone scams, there are a lot of them and it's tough to protect yourself these days. We're more often than not left questioning whether the call is legitimate or not. Irene sent me a note and asked, "Dear Jon, I got a call from a guy who said I was pre-approved for a loan. But I never applied for a loan. Is this a scam? How do I get these calls to stop?"

Hard to say if that was a scam or not. Telemarketers are known to be very convincing in order to get your personal information from you. The best advice from consumer experts we talked to- is to just say you're not interested and hang up.

And signing up for the national "Do Not Call" registry is important too.

Here's what you do, sign up online or by phone at www.donotcall.gov or call toll free 1-888-382-12-22.

Then after a 30-day waiting period, you can file a complaint about a telemarketer on the registry's website or the toll-free number. When you file a complaint, have the name or the phone number of the company that called you. And have the date that the company called you and your registered phone number.

Keep in mind that the registry doesn't stop all telephone solicitations. Calls are still permitted from: collection agencies and creditors, political organizations, charities, pollsters, surveyors and companies you have an existing business relationship with.

So your first line of defense is to hang up the phone and then sign up for the  registry.

Ask me anything you want. I especially like local questions about our community or region. Email me at DearJon@KIONRightNow.com or on the link above. I'm also on Facebook and Twitter.

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