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Robocalls: 5 tips beyond the "Do Not Call" list

If you have one of the more than 200 million numbers on the national Do Not Call Registry, chances are good that you're still getting annoying sales pitches or recorded calls offering lower interest rates, a "free" trip or some other special offer.

Unfortunately, those are not the calls that the Do Not Call list was designed to stop. The registry provides legitimate telemarketers with phone numbers that can't be used for sales pitches. More likely is the calls you're still getting peppered with are scams.

To that end, here are five tips from the Federal Trade Commission, which operates the registry and tries to stop the rogue callers, about dealing with those unwelcome interruptions.

Just hang up. If you get an unwanted call, don't engage the caller, don't press any buttons (even if they promise to remove you from their list).

Consider call blocking. If the calls are coming from the same number, you might be able to use a service from your phone provider to block the calls (check if there's a charge first). A variety of other options exist that could also help, such as smartphone apps that block calls and services like NoMoRobo.

It's a scam. If you get an unwanted sales call or robocall, even if what's being dangled before you sounds really enticing, it's most likely a scam. That's why it's advisable to heed the advice above to hang up. But if you do listen to the pitch, remember it will always come around to you forking over some money, even if the claim is that you won something.

File a complaint. If you get a robocall or other unwanted telemarketing call, you can go to DoNotCall.govand lodge a complaint, but don't expect to hear back directly from the FTC. The agency collects complaints and information about the calls, and has filed hundreds of lawsuits against those responsible.

Beware the spoofs. Calls you receive could appear to be coming from legitimate companies, local numbers or even your own number. But with technology today, it's easy for scam callers to make the number they're calling from appear on your caller ID just about any way they'd like them to.

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