Philip J. Outhier, Attorney at Law


Unwanted phone calls can be annoying. I occasionally receive them on my home land line but lately they

occur with more frequency on my cell phone. Worse yet, I also receive annoying text messages. Frequently,

the caller is seeking to make me a loan, advising me of an unpaid tax obligation or telling me to pay an unpaid

traffic ticket to avoid my incarceration! Plain and simple, the calls are scams. I have learned that you can take

a few simple steps to reduce these unwanted calls or texts.


It’s illegal for a company to send you a text message if it doesn’t have your permission, barring a few

exceptions. If you receive a random text message from a number you don’t recognize that says you won

something or asks you to confirm some personal information, don’t text back or click on links. Report it to

your provider at 7726 (SPAM) and to the Federal Trade Commission at or 1-888- 382-1222.

Sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission. Simply visit or call 1-888- 382-1222 from the phone you seek to register. Legitimate companies don’t

call if your number is included in the registry. Keep in mind, charitable organizations and companies you

already do business with are exempt from the Do Not Call obligation.


If the calls persist or if you get annoying robocalls, you should report the caller to the Federal Trade

Commission at or 1-888- 382-1222. Federal law has imposed stiff penalties for

persistent calls, and the process begins with you making the complaint.


As a last resort, consider setting your cell phone to only receive calls in your contact list. You can also ask

your telephone service provider to block the call.

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