National "Do Not Call" Registry
If you are one of more than 200 million people who have registered with the national Do Not Call list, and still receive annoying calls offering lower interest rates, discount cruises, or local political candidates, it is not the fault of the registry.
The registry only provides legitimate telemarketers with phone numbers that cannot be used for sales pitches. The calls you're still getting are more likely scams.
Things to Know About the Do Not Call Registry:
- The Do Not Call Registry accepts registrations from both cell phones and land lines. To register by telephone, call 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236). You must call from the phone number that you want to register. To register online (www.donotcall.gov ), you will be asked to respond to a confirmation email.
- Most telemarketers do not call your number once you’ve been registered for 31 days. If they do you can file a complaint. (see below for how to file a complaint)
- You can register both your home landline and your cell phone and you stay registered until phone service is disconnected, or you request the number to be taken off the registry.
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations prohibit telemarketers from using automated dialers to call cell phone numbers without prior consent. Telemarketers are barred from calling consumers' cell phones without their consent.
- There is only one Do Not Call Registry, operated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), with information available at donotcall.gov. There is no separate registry for cell phones.
- Telemarketers may not call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. and they must identify themselves to consumers.
Exemptions to the “Do Not Call” Registry: Unless you tell them to add you to their own no-call list, marketers with whom you have conducted business in the last eighteen months are exempt from the “Do Not Call” requirement. So are calls from:
- A business about an existing debt, contract or payment.
- A business that just started within the last year.
- Tax-exempt or nonprofit entities and political campaigns.
- Prerecorded messages or emergency calls needed for health and safety.
- Calls for which you have given prior express consent.
- Calls that don’t include any unsolicited advertisements or constitute telephone solicitations.
- Calls by, or on behalf of, tax-exempt non-profit organizations.
The Do Not Call laws apply to consumer phone lines only – they don’t cover businesses that receive telemarketing calls.
Scammers are Smart – Be Vigilant:
- Verify your registration on the Do-Not-Call website and never provide your phone number on feedback forms, surveys or other transaction documents.
- Scammers have been making phone calls claiming to represent the National Do Not Call Registry. The calls claim to provide an opportunity to sign up for the Registry. These calls are not coming from the Registry or the Federal Trade Commission. Do not respond to these calls. They are opportunities for scammers to steal your personal and financial information. The official Do Not Call Registry will not call you.
- If you get an unwanted call, don't engage the caller, don't press any buttons (even if they promise to remove you from their list). Hang up immediately.
- Spammers often hide their Caller ID information preventing consumers from filing a complaint.
- Be sure to expressly tell the businesses that you deal with to put you on their no-call list, and if unwanted calls come through, just hang up.
- Consider call blocking. If the calls are coming from the same number, you might be able to use a service from your phone provider to block the calls (check if there's a charge first). A variety of other options exist that could also help, such as smartphone apps that block calls and services like NoMoRobo.
- If you get an unwanted sales call or robocall, even if what's being dangled before you sounds really enticing, it's most likely a scam. But if you do listen to the pitch, remember it will always come around to you forking over some money, even if the claim is that you won something. Again, just hang up.
Filing a Complaint:
- If you get a robocall or other unwanted telemarketing call, you can go to www.DoNotCall.gov and follow the instructions to file a complaint.
- Don't expect to hear back directly from the FTC. The agency collects complaints and information about the calls, and has filed hundreds of lawsuits against those responsible. But it takes time to verify the complaint, contact the company to determine the existence of a violation, and then formulate the appropriate penalty and remedy.
- Filing a complaint will not immediately stop the company from calling. Although complaints are useful to help regulators identify and stop telemarketers from breaking the law, consumers can and should take steps to prevent unwanted calls, and for those that persist, just hang up.
Be a smart consumer and learn how to protect yourself by making informed decisions.
And remember – JUST HANG UP!!
And remember – JUST HANG UP!!
To Register Your Phone:
Or call toll-free from the phone you want to register: 1-888-382-1222.
To Register a Complaint: