Problem Solver: Solicitors now targeting cell phones

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Solicitors are taking their sales pitches to the next level by getting their hands on your cell phone numbers.

The phone calls are not limited your landline, and some Idahoans say they've experienced an increase in telemarketing calls on their cell phones.

"I got two tele-marketer calls when I was riding my motorcycle. I pulled over to the side of the road to see who was calling and that's what it was, it was very irritating," Boise resident, Chieshenam Westim said.

Boise resident, Tori Hindson, agrees. She said she tries to be patient, bit finds the cell phone call annoying.

I can take into consideration that I am doing a job too, Some of them are nice and it's pretty quick no thank you," Hindson said.

It turns out though, you could be the person unknowingly supplying companies with your cell number. The Better Business Bureau said many people have no idea they are giving out their personal cell numbers to strangers.

"When you sign up for a card at a retailer, when you fill out a form, when you enter a contest and they ask you for a phone number, that goes in a data base," Dale Dixon, spokesman for the Better Business Bureau, said.

KBOI found out that information can either be hacked or sold. Hacking is illegal, but selling it is not.
The terms of a sale can be found in the small print on those forms. There is a way to protect yourself and all of your phone numbers.

The Federal Trade Commission sponsors the "Do Not Call List." It's a national registry you've likely heard of before. The BBB said every couple of months a rumor pops up that there is a specific list for cell phones. There is not, but the "Do Not Call List" actually applies to cell phones, too.

"You can enter any valid phone number as long as you are calling from that phone number and you possess that phone number, you can enter that phone number on the Do Not Call registry," Dixon said.

We also found out the government offers this service for free. The day after you put your number on the list it will show up on the registry. Solicitors then have 31 days to stop calling you. It's also important to know only you can register a phone number on the national list, if someone offers to do it, it's a hoax.

Here's a link to the national registry. You can also call from the phone number you would like to put on the list and sign up. The official phone number is (888) 382-1222.

It's also important to note, numbers won't be taken off the list unless you remove it yourself, the phone gets disconnected or your number gets reassigned.