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Cathy Jett is the business editor at The Free Lance-Star, and specializes in covering the area's retail scene. You can email her at

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Illegal robocalls are on the rise

They’re annoying as cockroaches and just as unwelcome.

But what is the average person supposed to do about those illegal telemarketing calls that interrupt dinner?

When Diane Clauson of Locust Grove called The Free Lance-Star to complain about the up to 15 unwanted calls a day she and her husband were getting , I made a call of my own –to the Federal Trade Commission.

It turns out that the Clausons are far from alone. The FTC has seen complaints about illegal telemarketing calls soar over the past few years, and are taking steps to squash them.

I’ll cover the topic in an article in Saturday’s business section. In the meantime,  click here if you want to read testimony that FTC officials made before a Senate subcommittee in July about stopping fraudulent robcalls, and here if you’d like to see data the FTC has compiled about them.