Do Not Call list not stopping robo calls

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Dozens of people who said they are on the Do Not Call list have started to receive robo calls on their cell phones.

Lisa Lindell said the calls make her want to ring someone else's bell.

"These calls are so frustrating," Lindell said, "So annoying."

Lindell said she receives telemarketing calls at least two times a week even though she is on the Do Not Call list.

"I reported it to the attorney general every time it happened," she said, "and nothing."

She is not the only one. Within minutes of posting the problem to the WAVE 3 Troubleshooter Facebook page, more than 50 viewers sounded off, complaining about an increase in telemarketing calls to numbers registered to the Kentucky Attorney General's Do Not Call list. Troubleshooter Eric Flack took those complaints to Frankfort and Consumer Protection Director Todd Leatherman.

"We know that there are a lot of calls because we are getting complaints," Leatherman said.

Records uncovered by the Troubleshooter Department revealed telemarketing related complaints in Kentucky have skyrocketed from 1,970 in 2010 to 2,656 in 2011. That is a 35% increase. But, what about all those people who signed up for the Do Not Call list? The one the AG's office dedicates an entire web page to?

"Just because you're on the Do Not Call list doesn't mean there is some technical barrier that prevents your phone from being called," Leatherman said. "It's not blocking calls."

All it is doing is putting your number on a list which legitimate telemarketers are required to stay away from. Leatherman said the majority of robo calls these days come from off shore scammers who do not care about the law or the Do Not Call list. Leatherman said the groups spoof fake caller id numbers so investigators cannot track them down.

"If they are out and out illegal, from other countries, or are taking steps to disguise where they are calling from, it can be very difficult," Leatherman acknowledged.

Leatherman said the Kentucky AG's office is working with a handful of attorney generals around the country and the Federal Trade Commission to track down the groups behind the recent wave of robo call scams. However, they can only prosecute U.S. connections like the person setting up bank accounts where the stolen money ends up.

The problem of unwanted telemarketing calls is an ongoing challenge for investigators.

"You know you put it on the Do Not Call list, Hello! Do not call!" said Lindell.

In January, a Rhode Island marketing company had to pay a $20,000 fine for violating the Kentucky Do Not Call registry. It is one of the success stories the AG points to as evidence they are making progress. The Attorney General's office said you can help by not answering these calls.

Also, do not hit key prompts, even ones that say you do not want to receive another call because it is a give away your number is a live and will only lead to more calls.

Make sure to continue to report violations of the do not call act so the AG's office can keep fighting to stop it.

Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.