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Don't hang up on that telemarketer

Thursday - 3/13/2014, 7:29am  ET

WASHINGTON - Maybe you ignore the call; maybe you just hang up after saying hello. Either way, you are fueling the fire for that telemarketer to call you back - and soon.

That's the word from Erica Elson, author of "The Awkward Human Survival Guide." She knows what she's talking about; she's a telemarketer herself.

Elson tells Lifehacker that having a brief conversation with the person on the other end is your best bet. She says if someone simply hangs up on the telemarketer, it will be noted as a "no answer call," and a repeat call will be coming soon.

If you have no interest in the product, Elson says, don't engage the telemarketer. It will only give him or her hope. Another move frowned upon: attacking or shouting at the telemarketer. You could end up in the "call back" pool just as revenge.

If you want to say no and not be called again by that specific company, Elson says say these magical words: "Put me on your do-not-call list."

Getting on the national Do Not Call Registry is also a way to avoid many such calls. It will not, however, stop non-profit solicitation.

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