Have you received emails stating that cell phone numbers will soon be made public, that telemarketing companies will begin placing sales calls to cell phones and that customers will be charged for these calls?
You can hang up on those rumors.
According to Attorney General George Jepsen and Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein, the myth resurfaces year after year, causing unwarranted consumer anxiety – and this year, emails warning of the impending release have gone viral.
“Emails that claim that cell phone numbers will ‘go public’ this month are simply false,” said Attorney General Jepsen, in a press release. “Neither the government nor the cell phone companies have any intent to release cell phone numbers to telemarketers. Federal law prohibits telemarketers from using automatic dialers to call cell phones, which effectively prohibits telemarketers from calling consumers’ cell phones without consent.”
While consumers may choose to register their cell phone on the national Do Not Call Registry, no consumer should believe an email warning that their cell phone number will be released to telemarketers or that their service plan will be billed for such calls.
There is only one Do Not Call Registry. It is operated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), with information available at DoNotCall.gov
. The Do Not Call Registry accepts registrations from both cell phones and land lines.
To register by telephone, call 1-888-382-1222. You must call from the phone number you wish to register. To register online, go to DoNotCall.gov
; you will be required to respond to a confirmation email. Once registered, telemarketers covered by the Do Not Call Registry have up to 31 days from the registration date to stop calling.
If you’ve already registered a cell phone number, or another telephone number, you don’t need to re-register. Do Not Call registrations don’t expire.
Marketers you’ve conducted business within the last 18 months are generally exempt from Do Not Call requirements, as are tax-exempt and nonprofit entities; political campaigns; businesses contacting about an existing debt, contract or payment; businesses that started within the past year; prerecorded messages or emergency calls needed for health or safety; organizations with whom you have given prior consent; or entities with which you have a preexisting relationship.
The FTC investigates complaints about potential Do Not Call violations; complaints can be filed with the FTC through DoNotCall.gov
. The state Department of Consumer Protection also accepts and investigates complaints about potential violations of Connecticut’s Do Not Call law. Complaints can be made at www.ct.gov/dcp
or at 1-800-842-2649.