The Do Not Call List was started to help prevent telemarketers from calling you. When you sign up you will see a major decrease in telemarketing calls. The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) started the Do Not Call Registry to stop most unwanted cold calls. The FTC uses fines to enforce the Do Not Call List.
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1. How to sign up for the Do Not Call List
Joining the National Do Not Call List is simple. Visit donotcall.gov and enter the landline or cell number you want on the list. There’s a quick email verification and you’re done.
You can also call 1-888-382-1222 from any phone you want on the list. Your number stays on the list until you ask for it to be removed or you give up the number.
Warning: You may receive calls from people claiming to work at the Do Not Call Registry or Federal Trade Commission. They’ll claim your number isn’t listed on Do Not Call List and offer to sign you up – you just have to provide some personal information. This is always a scam. The Federal Trade Commission will not call you to put you on the Do Not Call Registry.
2. What the Do Not Call List covers and doesn’t cover
The Do Not Call List keeps you off of for-profit business calling lists, but this doesn’t happen right away. Telemarketers update their lists every few days, so the FTC says it can be up to 31 days before it goes into effect.
If you receive an unexpe
cted sales call after you’ve registered your number, and you’ve been registered on the list for 31 days, you can file a complaint. Just go to donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222. Make sure you can provide the date of the call and the company’s name or phone number.
Political organizations, charities and survey takers are still permitted to call you. Businesses you’ve bought
something from or made a payment to in the last 18 months also have a right to call. They must honor your request if you ask them not to call you.
Sometimes on a call from a survey company, they’ll ask if they can make a follow-up call. If you agree, then an associated for-profit company can call you too, decline any offers for a follow-up.
Be careful and read the fine print when signing up for sweepstakes and free product offers. It may say the company can send you with telemarketing calls.
The rules say, most businesses can’t call you with prerecorded telemarketing messages, also known as robocalls, without your written permission. Political and informational robocalls, such as those received from healthcare providers, banks and schools, are still allowed.
3. Cellphones on the Do Not Call List
The FTC says all unsolicited telemarketing calls or robocalls to cellphones are illegal even if you have not signed up. If you’re getting unsolicited marketing calls, ask the caller how they got your number and tell them you don’t want to be contacted. If they call back, file a complaint using the information given above.
Its a good idea to register all your landline and cellphone numbers, because if you do receive a telemarketing call, that’s a good sign the person on the other end is a scammer. Legitimate telemarketers don’t want to risk a $16,000 fine for breaking the law and ignoring the Do Not Call Registry.