A few years ago the Federal Trade Commission instituted an opt-out list for people who aren’t interested in accepting telemarketing calls. Soon after, millions of Americans jumped on the opportunity to get fewer annoying telemarketing calls, but that didn’t stop all of the telemarketers. Some moved overseas others flaunted the law and continued calling anyway. Some telemarketing calls are still permissible even when you’re registered on the National Do Not Call List. Charities, political organizations and telephone surveyors are free to call you as much as they’d like. Fortunately there’s a means for you to stop the vast majority of calls that the Do Not Call list doesn’t get to.

The device is called the Telezapper. There’s another product called CallMeNot which serves the same purpose. You’ve probably seen them advertised on late-night cable and dismissed them as another gadget that you don’t need. A lot of products that are advertised on late-night cable can be very hokey and rarely work as advertised, however an Telezapper is an exception to this trend. It does an excellent job in stopping automated calling systems in their tracks.

Here’s how it works. You take this little device and hook it in between your phone jack and your telephone. Whenever a call comes in, the Telezapper will play a sound that will trick the telemarketing equipment into thinking that your phone number has been disconnected and delete your name from their mailing list. Your other callers will get through just fine, but the telemarketing calls will go away over-time as the telemarketing companies’ computers remove you from their lists.

You don’t need to go out and spend money on a device to get rid of telemarketers though. If you can manage to play the appropriate tone on your answering machine quickly before you put in your message, it will have the same effect. The telemarketing systems will think your number is disconnected, and your friends and family calling you will hear the tone and then hear your answering machine. You can get those tones at telephonetribute.com.

There is another downside which should be considered as well. There are reports that when people are calling you from a pre-paid calling card, they can often get disconnected because of technology in the calling card systems that is similar to the telemarketing systems which detect tones that might indicate the phone has been disconnected.

The Do Not Call List is not the be all and end all to get rid of telemarketing calls, but it’s a good start. Getting a device like the Telezapper or the CallMeNot is a great way to bolster your efforts in eliminating telemarketing calls.