Since it began in 2003, the National Do Not Call list has grown to include more than 249 million phone numbers. When you register your phone number with the Do Not Call list it becomes illegal for telemarketers to contact you by phone. The Do Not Call list does not apply to charities so you still may be contacted by charities even if you have registered for the Do Not Call list. However, when you receive a call from someone purporting to be representing a charity, you can never be sure who is really calling so you should never give your credit card number to someone who calls you allegedly from a charity. If you are interested in a particular charity, contact the charity directly to make your contribution.
If you are registered for the Do Not Call list and you do receive a call from a telemarketer, you can be confident that the call is a scam because no legitimate telemarketer would call you if you are enrolled in the Do Not Call list. It is also important to note that while telemarketing is not in and of itself illegal, telemarketing through robocalls is always illegal. Registering for the Do Not Call list will not stop robocalls. Illegal automated robocalls continue to be a major source of complaint for many people with the most common subjects of illegal robocalls being debt reduction, vacation and timeshares and warranty plans. Recently Congress passed a new law intended to reduce robocalls, but the new legislation is not expected to totally resolve the problem.
Each year, the Federal Trade Commission issues an annual report for the Do Not Call List and this year’s report for 2022, the previous year, shows the greatest number of scam calls relate to impostor scams where the scammer poses as government employee such as of the IRS or the Social Security Administration or of a legitimate company with which you may do business.
The FTC is also reporting that people are now receiving emails informing them that their registration in the Do Not Call list is expiring and that they have to register their phone numbers again. They are then directed to a phony website that gathers information that can be used for purposes of identity theft. The important thing to know is that you never have to reregister your phone number with the Do Not Call list. Once you have registered a number it is permanently on the Do Not Call list until the number is disconnected or you ask for your number to be removed.
Registering for the do not call list is easy and free. Merely go to http://www.donotcall.gov to register your phone number.
Finally, you can just choose to ignore any calls that come from numbers you do not recognize. This is a good option. If they are legitimate calls, they will leave a message and you can call them back.
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