It’s out of control.

Four, five, sometimes six times a day.

Telemarketers.  Scam artists.  Helping me “lower my credit card interest rate” or “stop my warranty from expiring.”

You press one to tell them to “go screw”, but before you can — you find that YOU are being yelled at my nasty telemarketers who realize they got busted.

What HAPPENED to the “Do Not Call” list??

In 2016, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission received more than 5 million compliants about “do not call” and “robocall” violations, according to Janice Kopec, who runs the FTC’s Do Not Call Division.

What’s up with that?  Because according to her, there are more than 200 million landlines and cell phone numbers on it.

The problem is technology.  There are incredibly inexpensive programs that let scammers hide their real numbers, making it look like they are someone else or calling locally.

You pick up thinking it’s a friend or the school your kids go to.  Instead, it’s the “vacation” you “won.”

Here’s the other thing.  The law has never done a thing to stop scam artists who don’t exactly care about the laws to begin with.

Major telephone companies like AT&T and Verizon have programs — or are working on programs — that will alert users about “possible scams” when a call comes in.  And while apps won’t help landlines (which apparently people still actually have), there ARE a number of applications you can download to help block most con calls on a cell phone — such as:

The bottom line is this.  There’s not much you can do … except be smart enough to not give away private information to someone who you’ve never heard of … and can barely understand.