Cell Phone Numbers and the Do Not Call List

I’m still getting emails warning me that “all cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sale calls.” According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), however, this is not true:

You may have received an email telling you that your cell phone is about to be assaulted by telemarketing calls as a result of a new cell phone number database; however, that is not the case. FCC regulations prohibit telemarketers from using automated dialers to call cell phone numbers. Automated dialers are standard in the industry, so most telemarketers don’t call consumers on their cell phones without their consent.

Despite the huge waste of data storage caused by this type of chain emails, it does help raise awareness of the FTC’s Do Not Call list. In fact, anyone who doesn’t like sales calls at the most inconvenient times should register their phone numbers with the National Do Not Call Registry. And it is super easy to do:

On the web:

  1. Go to the FTC’s Do Not Call website;
  2. Type in your personal phone numbers, including home phones and/or cell phones;
  3. You may register three phone numbers at a time, but you can repeat the process to register more;
  4. Leave your email address;
  5. For each phone number you register, you will receive an email containing an activation link;
  6. Click on the link (or copy and paste the link address to a new browser) to complete your registration.

Use your phone:

  • Call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone you want to register

Your registration never expires until you remove the number from the list.

You may verify if and when a particular number was added to the DoNotCall list here.

Adding your phone number to the DoNotCall list doesn’t stop all telemarketing calls, but most legitimate companies honor the list (or face severe fines). Also if you purchased something from a company, a telemarketer representing that company is allowed to call you for up to 18 months after your last purchase.

From my own experience, the DoNotCall registry is quite effective. Don’t let those “New Car Warranty” scam artists discourage you. Two companies involved in the extended warranty scam, who placed millions of automated calls a week to any number they could get – home or mobile, were already busted by the FTC in the largest DoNotCall violation ever.

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