Stop Calling Us

Afraid of your phone? You're not alone. But new gadgets and laws can help fend off telemarketers

Six-thirty p.m. is a sacred time in American life, but one also often filled with dread. Mom and Dad are home from work, Junior's back from piano and Sis from soccer, and everyone's washed up and ready to eat. We count on dinner as the family hour yet know that at any moment it could be punctured by a phone call from some scripted stranger hawking island vacations or aluminum siding.

If the number of intrusive sales calls you receive seems to be on the rise, that's because it is. Revenue from telemarketing pitches increased 250% from 1990 to 2002, to...

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