Sneaky ways telemarketers get your phone number

Does it feel like an invasion of your privacy when telemarketers interrupt your work, your dinner or your leisure time? Well, it is! And you have every right to be frustrated. Most of the time, you don’t even know how they got your number — particularly to your cellphone.

Well, here are some of the sneaky ways that they do it:

1. You didn’t read the “Terms of Use” policy

Just about every app, game or program you download has a Terms of Use agreement you have to sign in order to use the product. Do you agree to it without reading the whole thing most of the time? (If you said, “Yes,” don’t be ashamed. Most people do the exact same thing.) That’s how a lot of companies get your number because they hide agreements in there that allow them to call you.

2. You gave your number out too easily

Have you entered a contest? Registered a warranty? Signed a petition? You’ve probably given your phone number out to a dozen places each time — all without realizing it. Those sneaky Terms of Use clauses are at it again.

3. You donated to a charity

You have a big heart and — even though you don’t have a wallet that matches — you give what you can. More than likely, you’ve signed up for their mailing list, which is also a marketing list — and might get sold to other companies.

In these days of technological wizardry, it’s often hard to maintain your privacy. However, you do have certain rights under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act — and an attorney can help you understand when your rights are being violated and what you can do in response.