Washington Post
Washington, D.C.

Dear Editor:

The "Do Not Call" system is ineffective. I am called 1-3 times a month by criminals who Robo-Call, offering to lower my bank credit card interest rate. The Robo voice instructs me to push "1" to get more information, "3" to be taken off the call list. Pushing 3 does not get one off the list. After pushing 1 you are connected to a criminal agent who attempts to get your personal or credit card information so they can steal your identity or bank account. If you ask too many questions they disconnect. Last time they called, I said, "Please do not hang up on me (hoping to really get off their list)." She replied, "I will hang up. Sorry." Click. I have contacted the Federal Trade Commission many times. The FTC is the agency in charge of Do Not Call violation problems. I have also contacted my US Representative, and both Senators. They all say something like "Isn't it awful. We are trying the best we can. Sorry." Apparently the FTC has only caught and prosecuted a handful of these criminals.

I hope the Post might assign an investigative reporter to look into this matter. What data does the FTC gather about the complaints, including how many and how often do the illegal calls arrive, what is the demographic distribution of the calls (I suspect senior citizens are vulnerable to the sham), what new laws are needed to put some teeth in the protection of citizens, what foreign countries are involved, etc.? The failure of this well intentioned system is one of the reasons citizens have lost faith in the effectiveness of our government.

Sincerely yours,

Jan Polissar
301 365-6303
Bethesda, MD.