The National Do Not Call Registry: Information About How to Register and Other Common Questions

the National Do Not Call Registry can reduce the number of unwanted calls you receive, but scammers will still call anyway

The National Do Not Call Registry: How To Register and Common Questions
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February 1, 2019

The National Do Not Call Registry was born from the Do Not Call Implementation Act of 2003. Since 2003, millions of people have registered their phone numbers in an attempt to slow the onslaught of telemarketing calls throughout their days. Do you know how to place your number on the National Do Not Call Registry and how long it will take for legitimate telemarketers to stop calling you?

You may not know that the North Carolina Consumers Council lobbied congress in the years leading up to the law's enactment, and even lobbied the North Carolina General Assembly for a similar law at the state level that functions in the same way as the National Do Not Call Registry.

How to Register A phone number

To add a phone number to the Do Not Call Registry, go to the registry's website or call (888) 382-1222 from the phone you wish to register.

time before you receive less calls

Your number will appear on the National Do Not Cal Registry the day after you successfully register. Telemarketers have 31 days to remove your phone number from their telemarketing lists.

How long will my number stay on the National Do Not Call Registry?

Any personal phone number, including cell phone numbers, will remain on the National Do Not Call Registry permanently unless your number is disconnected. If this happens, you should re-register. You can delete your number by calling (888) 382-1222 from the telephone number you want to delete.

Do I need to re-register if my area code changes?

No. The new number will be registered automatically during the 90 day period during the time when both area codes work.

Will registering my number stop all calls

The National Do Not Call Registry prohibits unwanted sales calls. You might still receive political calls, charitable calls, debt collection calls, informational calls, and telephone survey calls. Additionally, any company with who you have recently done business or have given permission to call you may call you. However, if you ask the company not to call you again, it must honor your request.

But I'm still getting so many phone calls

Telemarketers who play by the rules shouldn't call you. The companies that don't play by the rules or scammers are the ones who might still call. It's best not to interact with the caller in any way, even if it's a robocall saying you can press a number to be placed on an internal do not call list. Interacting with the caller or pressing buttons confirms to the illegal telemarketer that your number is good, and you'll end up getting even more calls.

Blocking unwanted numbers

If you keep receiving calls from one specific number, you can block the number on your phone (if the option is available) or check with your phone company to see if the number can be blocked. You can also investigate apps that can block known telemarketing and robocalls.

Efforts to block illegal callers

Spoofing, or changing the number that displays on the caller ID, is becoming a big problem. In addition to suing illegal telemarketers and collecting judgments for consumers, the Federal Trade Commission is working to develop technology that can block robocalls, track down the perpetrators, and fight caller ID spoofing.

Penalties for violating the Do Not Call Registry

Telemarketers who violate the National Do Not Call Registry can be fined up to $41,484 per call.

Filing a Do Not Call Complaint

To report an illegal phone call receive by a phone number on the Do Not Call Registry, go to the registry's website or call (888) 382-1222.