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FTC Consumer Alert

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Are You Getting Telemarketing Calls You Don’t Want?
Here's How to Stop Them

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched the National Do Not Call Registry to give Americans a choice about getting telemarketing calls at home. According to a recent Harris Interactive poll,92 percent of people who reported placing a number on the registry said they are receiving fewer calls; a total of 78 percent said they’re getting “far fewer calls” or none at all.

If you think you put your number on the National Do Not Call Registry, and you’re still getting telemarketing sales calls, the Federal Trade Commission recommends that you:

  • Check to see that your number is on the registry. You can verify that your number is on the registry two ways: online at DONOTCALL.GOV (click on “Verify A Registration”), or by calling 1-888-382-1222 (TTY 1-866-290-4236) from the phone number you wish to verify. Follow the prompts.

    You also can add your number to the registry using the same Web site or phone number (call from the number you want to register). If you register online, you will receive an email from donotcall.gov as part of the confirmation process. You will need to click on the link in this email within 72 hours after you receive it. If you don’t click on the link in the email, the number you tried to register will not be added to the registry, and telemarketers may continue to call.
  • Understand that some calls are not covered. Once your number has been on the registry for three months, most telemarketing calls will stop. However, you still may get:
    • calls from — or on behalf of — political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors;
    • calls from companies with whom you have an existing business relationship. A company may call you for 18 months after you make a purchase or three months after you submit an inquiry or application;
    • calls from companies you’ve given permission to call.
  • File a complaint. If your number has been on the registry for at least three months, and a telemarketer calls, complain to the FTC. Visit DONOTCALL.GOV or call 1-888-382-1222 (TTY1-866-290-4236). You’ll need to provide the date of the call and the phone number or name of the company that called you.

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

May 2004
button link to The National "Do Not Call" Registry button link to ID Theft Data Clearinghouse button link to SPAM info