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The Truth About Cell Phones and the National Do Not Call Registry

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Contrary to re-circulating email:

  • There is no new cell phone national do not call database. There is only one National Do Not Call Registry. It is operated by the Federal Trade Commission and covers both cell and landline phone numbers.
  • Registering your cell or landline phone number is free. Once registered, a number stays on the Do Not Call Registry until the registration is canceled or service for the number is discontinued.
  • There is no deadline for registering a phone number on the Do Not Call Registry.


Having personal experience working with autodialers, I can tell you that even the most basic/unsophisticated autodialers wouldn't be affected by hitting #, or any other button (unless it's a more sophisticated dialer using software that allows it to be programmed to do things like "press 1 to be transferred to a live representative"). Even still, unless it gives you an option to be removed from their calling list, pushing # won't do anything. In fact, doing so may accomplish the opposite. If programmed to, it could interpret hearing something on your end as "good" and its system could indicate the action of you pushing a button as it having reached a "good phone number" as it received some "human interaction".

Even if it is a more sophisticated setup, hitting # won't mess anything up. Autodialers are programmed to call at a certain time, or between certain hours, and call as many times as they're programmed to (i.e. if it's busy, it is usually programmed to try back in 15 mins). The same can be said for an "incomplete call", say for example it doesn't get a good connection (i.e. there's no "hello" and it just hears buttons being pushed.

I'm on this site because I'm annoyed with a company calling me on a daily fact in an interesting coincidence typing this post was interrupted by them calling me again.

Sorry to burst your bubble, I just know how they work.

I've been called two or three times a week by the same call. I did call back and was given a message that if I wanted them to stop to push the number nine and that it imay take 72 hours to have my cell phone number removed from their list. I AM ON THE NATIONAL CELL PHONE NO CALL LIST! I've done this at least 3 times and it didn't work. This has gone on for over 3 months. Called FCC, etc and was told it would be taken care of. Still getting the calls.

When you get illegal sales calls or robocalls, it's best to ignore them. Don't interact in any way. Don’t press buttons to be taken off the call list or to talk to a live person or call back. That just leads to more calls.  These are useful details for a complaint.  Please report your experience at

Don't waste your time filing a complaint. I've wasted my time hundreds of times and these Spoofed callers keep getting worse. I dont answer, never call them back, I do everything I can to minimize Spoofed VoIP calls (and I have for years). If the Govnt. can crack Tor (to some degree), and take down a site like Silk Road -they certainly can end call Spoofers. However, the Govt. doesn't care about call spoofing. Just pay your taxes and keep people at the FTC employed -good Fido!

I disagree with this. I've been on the DNC list for as long as its existed and made many complaints at the site. In the beginning the DNC worked well because reputable companies respected it. Now a bunch of crooks and sleeze companies harass us endlessly. I do everything I can to waste their time. Express interest. Ask questions. Ask someone to call me back. Put them on hold. Fight fire with fire. Waste their time!

well, spending some $ to find out who they actually are and suing them seems to work pretty well for me. I made 80k in 3yrs suing multiple telemarketing firms and I have been on the DNC list since 2003.

Ignoring them does nothing, please come up with a working answer.

Wish there a push to get legislation to offer a reward for anyone naming these people. The reward would be paid for through the fine imposed. If it was a big enough fine, it would become hard to resist the $$$$ .... could result in ratting on ANYBODY ... including relatives, etc. Half the fine imposed could go to the organization taking care of it. This could be a charitable org., etc.

Beautiful suggestion! Informants are the way to go. And an economic incentive is the key to encourage people to divulge information.

I agree. This government dept seems to be a republican scam and a waste of taxpayer money.

"A Republican scam"? Seriously? This is a perfect example of how the left has their head so buried in the sand that they cant/don't want to see the truth....Who's in office? At the time of your post, who had control of Congress? Wake up, and take action if you aren't happy! I realize its just part of youre nature to make excuses instead of actually fixing things.

Telemarketers do not consult the DNC list. They give an area code and prefix to the computer, and instruct it to randomly generate suffixes. Hackers and scammers also phish and spoof numbers. These animals go into chat rooms or communicate with each other in other ways, to share or sell entire lists of private information. In Florida, for instance, they even hold classes in a hotel suite: everyone brings their laptop, like a Tupperware party, and the leader teaches them how to purchase lists and steal people's identities. I do not understand why so many people are still unconsciously operating on the assumption that any of these give a damn about us. They are predators.

The national DoNotCall is like a dog without teeth or even worse a kitten without a mewl. It seems to have been implemented only to appease public outrage but to date there have been no penalties assessed. The only thing we could do is replace our reps but then they would become crooked like all the rest. It really PO's me that the majority has no say in this country.

You are right!

What's to keep the scammers from obtaining the DNCL, and using the list to call numbers that are verified working numbers by virtue of being on the list?

It is TOTAL BS that this is a hard problem to fix! It is NOT! Come on alreadY! We live in the computer age! You mean to tell me that for pennies every single phone line could not have a call routing system where a person can NOT ring through without either entering a password or answering a question only someone close would KNOW OR barring that would have to listen to a precorded message FIRST designed BY the the phone's holder that makes it virutally IMPOSSIBLE for ANY robo caller to get through AND leaves a message of distain for any human caller abusing the no call " we would NEVER EVER EVER even consider doing business with ANY enterprise that is abusing the phone system with illegal calls" etc....What I think? Is that this "DUHHH!" OBVIOUS answer is being DELIBERATELY IGNORED on account of POLITICAL and probably coporate greasing to keep the lines open no matter HOW MANY people are plagued by it! The rich can afford expensive computer switchboards and human answering services or personal assistants that create a buffer of privacy....but can youand afford it? We COULD IF it were made possible by stroke of the pen law requiring phone companies to provide the service and/or mass produced CHEAP would literally be pennies per phone line IF everyone had is a HUGE DUHH being flatly IGNORED! NO ONE appears to be honestly trying to solve the problem! The proof of what I am saying is that there ARE and/or have been even consumer priced systems that provide some of these trying to find one that does it all it seems obvious enough to me that these products are deliberately hampered by someone...

The truth? The truth is IF a solution is finally implemented, ALL these folks that work for the national do call registry are out of jobs not to mention lawyers making money going after offenders ...I will not be surprised if this is not approved for display here...although what difference it could make I have no idea seeing how it will be buried in all the the other approved comments. Bottom line is that individually people have a wicked tendency to self serving ABOVE what they KNOW in their heart is RIGHT. We justify all our sin making right wrong and wrong right ...our hypocrisy is to ACT all good but then when it comes time, when the rubber meets the road, we put our own self ABOVE what we KNOW is 2 cents why SO MANY problems remain problems for no good reason

Actually the solution to this is very simple. Hold the phone companies accountable for do not call violations. Right now they make money on these calls. If they were fined 50 cents or a dollar for each call you can be sure that they would put a stop to this nonsense.

I am getting my phone blown up again with all kinds of messages. I'm so sick of this. I put my cell phone on the do not call registry a couple times a year, it doesn't matter. I've HAD IT!! Earlier this morning, one called saying they were from Best buy fast five Visa and need me to call them back about my account and they ahve an urgent message for me. I don't have a visa Best Buy card, it was a scam. Now I just got another sketchy message left and all it said was Case file, please call immediately on our department number and leaves the number. I googled it, sure enough it's one of those IRS fraud calls. I can't tell you how many of those I've received over the years. I am the only person I know that gets all of these calls, on my cell phone anyway. I don't know what to do. Changing my number is a LOT of work and will it prevent these people from doing this again, probably not? This is just not right. They take advantage of old people, or young and naive. I mean at first they even had me thinking I did something wrong...I wish there were something to make this stop!!

Can you just take the credit card people away from their phone robotics? I ain't typing nothing more than click.

In the days before cell phones that didn't look like paving bricks, in a moment of dire financial distress I took a temp job at a place selling books of coupons. It was 3 rooms full of callers, and a stack of paper that started out (785)841-1000, and went through every number possible. We wrote notes besides the numbers that were disconnected, no answer, asked us not to call back, etc. and from time to time sold a coupon book. The next shift took over using same list. No one ever consulted a Do Not Call Registry. When that area code was done, the company moved on to a different city. Next year, same temp job was available. I hated the job, but needed a paycheck. And I have had way worse jobs. I am not asking for forgiveness for being poor and getting taken advantage of by a company that hired exclusively young, inexperienced labor, just maybe trying to explain that every call you receive may have someone at the other end who doesn't know they are breaking a law and who are being taken advantage of by a company who should know better.

I'm getting 10-15 robo,telemarket and crap calls per day on business home and cell lines.

Hey, we went to the moon and we can't stop this nonsense! Well, they can but it is too much revenue for the telco's. EVERY CALL comes from someplace!Use or install the technology to halt this breach of peace!

Wake Up Don Trump! This would get you re-elected next term!

When I moved I registered my cell phone, but this time decided not to register my landline number.and a funny thing happened - my cell phone, which IS registered, is inundated with sales and spam calls, and suddenly I am no longer receiving ANY telemarketing calls on my landline. Are scammers using the Do Not Call Registry as their marketing list?

Congress could order the FCC to start fining the telecom companies that have the technology to stop them, but then the lawmakers would lose reelection campaign contributions. Not to mention the telecom companies are complicit and would sue and refuse to do it anyway.

Whether or not your private number is registered on the DNC, if you use that number in a business ad, then it becomes a business number and you can be put on a list and solicited.

you are right, that's why I placed a blocked and restricted to only incoming callers

gangstalkers in wasilla are liars liars liars liars.gangstalkers have taken over the churches in wasilla alaska and eagle river alaska.

I don't understand why, since I'm on DNC registry I keep getting calls from Credit Card services, calls w/just the # showing, and many "unknown caller" phone calls. Isn't there any way the DNC can remove my # from these scam artists? I have answered the calls periodically, talked to a person selling something and DEMANDED THEY TAKE MY PHONE NO. OFF THEIR LISTS, but they never do it. AND it's getting worse - more calls every day. I usually just let them go into Vmail, but it's still unwanted solicitation calls that are supposed to be stopped by DNC. Anything FTC/DNC can do to stop this? PLEASE!

Babs PA...I completely understand your frustration on this. I am receiving 6-10 calls / day from Card Services, Card Member Services, etc. I have asked them to take me off their list. However, before you can get 2 words in...they hang up. I have also received calls where they ask you to press to to be removed from thier calling list. It doesnt work. IUt just lets them know that your number is a good number and they sell it to other scammers out there. I am completely fed up with this and so far..I have received over 300+ calls since 2007! I am registered on the DNC registry..but these guys do not care.

The worst thing about this "credit card services" scam.. 'cause that's what it is.. is they are constantly changing the phone numbers they use, probably spoofing Caller ID. I've reported numerous phone numbers, makes no difference. I too have tried to get them to remove my number - no luck. If get to a real person, and you say anything other than 'yes'.. they hang up on you.

Their 'offer' is hardly legit, saying they can lower your interest rates. The dumb thing is I have NO credit cards, so these people are completely bogus!!

yeah, I have been having the same issues. So much that I created a contact in my phone called "bullshit numbers" once they call from a number I place them in this list and that whole list is on AUTO REJECT!!
They seriously need to be found, changed, hung and beaten to death for their rude comments. Infact they just called me and I told them I was trying to find out how to have my number removed the girl said I dunno when you find out let me know! and hung up!! UGH hate rude and inconsiderate people! That whole company needs to be charged with harassment!

I talked to the credit card people once just to see what their scam was. When I told the caller that my balance was 0, he asked me to speak to his supervisor. I again said my balance was 0. They both started laughing and hung up. Unfortunately, they still call.

I have been dealing with this for over 3 years .Same thing - Credit Card Services- they hang up on you. I have ason reported it to My States asttorney Generals office wiothout success.

I tracked those credit card calls to Lucre, Inc and since I've called them I've not received a single call from them. Try this phone number (616) 361-0128. When they call you there's no chance to request that your number be removed. That is an option when you call them.

Your response sounds like a scam!

And they really don't like it when you call them repeatedly and hang up. Just FYI.

This is bad info. I called this number and they have nothing to do with credit cards.

still receive many unwanted calls, without enforcement doesn't seem to make any difference to be on the do not call list

While I have registered all of our phones on the Do Not Call Registry (and do so every year to ensure). It seems the sneaks continue to get our home & cell numbers. I have been filing complaints against telemarketers on the National Do Not Call website, but what is helping the most, is contacting the State Attorney General's website and filing complaints there as well.

This list is worthless without enforcement and the government knows it. Why even have one?
The government has no interest in stopping the scammers so enforcement will never happen.
This form of theft is a defacto business practice. This list only helps the government obtain information on citizens for its own use that would otherwise unattainable.
What else is there?

I, lost my phone I got my personal information like my debit Card I need a lock asao

I put these idiots on hold. It takes anywhere from 7-10 minutes for this to revert back to "If you want to make a call". Hopefully it will tie up their system. I get four to five of these robo calls a day. I have tried calling their number back, but alwlays get a busy signal!! I am sick of it to the point of terminating the telephone service and going to email only.

Omaknits - Stopping your phone service, and going to only enail....yup, that'll really show em! Lol, the only one losing would be you...

I entered my cell phone # on the DNC list and Immediately started to receive soliciting calls. What's with that!!!!!!?????? I say, if you are not getting calls, don't risk calling and registering with the DNC, seems like you're asking for it!@#*+#

We've had our home and mobile numbers on the DNC registry for years now, and it doesn't make a bit of difference. I just re-registered them, for all the good it will do. We've been getting approximately 7-10 solicitation calls a day (not charity/political/surveys). I used to answer the calls and politely tell the called we are on the Do Not Call registry and to please take us off their lists. They usually say they will, but sometimes they get very nasty and/or just hang up. Often they try to get around the DNC list by saying they spoke with us earlier about (new construction/windows, etc., etc.), and I tell them, "No they didn't," and to please take us off their list. This does no good at all. If I ask for the name of the company, they usually just hang up. Now, when the phone rings, I have to run to the phone and look at the LED screen; if I don't recognize the number/person, I let it go to voice mail. Most times, it just hangs up. This is harassment--running to the phone each time, and not being able to answer the phone.! I don't think anything is being done to catch these callers. This is not to even mention the Robocalls, which come in 3-4 times a day!

I've been on the dnc list 3 years and get the same Credit Card Services calls. Filed a complaint with Fed Trade Commis. FTC told me they dont have the power to do anything . ( So why take my complaint ?? ) Have some FUN with it . When they call , your 1st words are " IS THIS THE BEST AND ONLY JOB YOU COULD GET ? COME ON , YOUR BETTER THAN THAT , GO OUT AND TRY SOMETHING ELSE ... CAUSE YOUR NOT MAKIN ANY MONEY HERE ... HELLO ....HELLO ? ....If they are going to waste my time , I'll waste theirs .If we get a movement of everyone saying the same thing maybe we can get our point across . Or atleast lower they're work force .

Another government failure. Wonder how many people are supposedly working in the Do Not Call Registry group. That's the job I want. Report to work, get paid and do nothing. This has been going on for years. I read somewhere that they receive over 200,000 complaints a month. I wonder how many fines they've issued.

The FTC brings numerous cases against companies that violate the Do Not Call Rule. Here's a list of recent cases: .

New technologies have made it easier and cheaper for scammers to call people illegally and to hide from the law. In fact, many of these calls come from overseas.

I'm sure they go after one every now and then,like if they harass democrats, or don't pay off anyone in Obama's clan. Tell me please, how is it that the lower your interest c.c. calls have continued for so many years with NOTHING having been done! It seems to me, O's FTC manages to stop others, so why not this one? Are you telling me, the c.c. ring is the only major scammer out there that knows how to hide? If FTC was able to bring some to justice, they have the tools to get the rest.

these calls have been going on long before President Obama. I get calls from Republicans, Democrats, and independents!even calls looking for people i never heard of, just because the last name is the same. however; I don't answer these types of call, they go to voice mail, if they make it past the recording!


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