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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.


I considered buying one of those call-blocking gizmos for my landline, but after looking at some of the manufacturer names I became suspicious... what are the odds that these things are being sold by the very same overseas companies that are illegally robocalling us all day and all night?

About every few days I receive a call from "OBAMA" on my cell phone and if I do not answer it then it just keeps ringing instead of going to voicemail or just stopping. If I answer then it just plays music. I have googled this with various keywords and get nothing relevant. Any ideas?

There needs to be another section for complaints. The complaint form acts like you answered the call.You have a choice not to answer and these people then call you all day

Well I'd like to know where is my portion of these settlements after filing soooo many complaints with them. The court should order the perpetrators to give $5000 per complaint per person. Maybe then they would stop. And it should be strictly enforced by doubling it if it is not.

Well, this stream of comments have answered almost all my questions, but I am still left with the most important: I registered my Cell Phone with the DoNotCall Registry in 2007 and 2015 has been a year of non-stop abuse and phone harassment associated with my registered phone number not limited to the following: robocalls, spoofing, and telemarketing type phone calls- WHAT NEXT? What's offered to all of us whom have yet again become significantly victimized? Not only has it been extremely bothersome and disturbing, but rather significantly time consuming- I hope future victims filing complaints can chime in and provide an educated, yet factual response?

I understand it's because they keep using different numbers.

I have complained to the FTC for almost 6 months now and the 3109252558779 number. I spoke with Mary today, she said you called me I said yes I called you to tell you not to keep calling me I don't want your business, and hung up who can stop these calls short of hiring an attorney.

Does anyone know of an attorney who would file a class action lawsuit against the FTC for gross malicious negligence?

Make a simple law that all carriers that complete an incomplete number call ie(111111111) and so forth have to refund the service charge for that month and also have an unlimited block harassing number list at the service website. then all these scams and harassing calls will stop.

Been getting alot of scam phone calls on my cellphone thanks to the telemarketing crap!!!!

There should be a law that prevents from telemarketers too get ahold on our phone numbers!!!!

am very frustrated with this unknown foreign number (+827662638) it is of 9 digits. It just give miss call and if I answer it it disconnect it after exactly 5 sec. I always receive calls at mid night around 11 or 12 . plz help me.

The best thing to do is file a complaint at and ignore any additional calls you get. You also can look into call blocking solutions. Your phone carrier might be able to block the number, but first ask if there is a fee for blocking. Our article, Phone Scams, and blog post, Reducing Robocalls: Practical Tips & Tricks, have additional info that might be helpful.

I get 10 - 20 scam and telemarketer calls a day on my personal cell phone. It is on the do not call list and has been since I activated it. When has a telemarketer ever been fined or arrested? ...that would be never. What a worthless taxpayer funded organization.

As others have said, all the consumer articles tell people to register with the Do Not Call Registry. What a crock! Sorry, but the FTC has no money to enforce their rules and vendors of every type continue to call. I have two lines, regular land and a fax. I get from 8 to 12 calls a day on these lines, mostly robo calls, from vendors who couldn't care less about the law. My calls come from "Unavailable," from practically every city in the U.S., from 800 numbers--and all of them are scams. And that does not include the "legal" calls from charities and political parties. Just try calling one of the numbers back. Impossible. At present, I cannot use NoMoRobo on my phones.

I answer all calls. If a telemarketer I let them talk as long as they want. I can BS them for as long as they want to play my scam. My record to date 17 minutes. When they ask for something specific my response “I do not do any business over the phone. You can contact my Accountant or my Attorney for additional details or information. They will be happy to respond and advise me.” I offer factious names and my PO Box number. If they want their phone numbers I say they also do not do any business over the phone just send them correspondence and they will be happy to respond. To date no correspondence has ever been received and we rarely get any calls now. I understand this type of reply removes your number from their list

I answer all calls. If a telemarketer I let them talk as long as they want. I can BS them for as long as they want to play my scam. My record to date 17 minutes. When they ask for something specific my response “I do not do any business over the phone. You can contact my Accountant or my Attorney for additional details or information. They will be happy to respond and advise me.” I offer factious names and my PO Box number. If they want their phone numbers I say they also do not do any business over the phone just send them correspondence and they will be happy to respond. To date no correspondence has ever been received and we rarely get any calls now. I understand this type of reply removes your number from their list

I envy you. You must have a lot of free time on your hands.

I work at a telemarketing center and you "only" remove people off list of they line up serious curse words. Telling you nicely please don't call me again or remove me just goes into "not interested at the moment" and will be circulated around the room again and again.

I hope you are calling as a volunteer for an organization that is allowed to make calls and not being paid to harass people. Ive made calls for politicians and when people ask us to not call we can give them a valid reason, (they are registered voters). It's the unknown, private and 800 numbers that are the problems. Thanks for the advice tho!

The DNC registry should be shot and put out of its misery. It only applies to legit telemarketers who are most likely to remove you from their list when you ask them to. The vast majority of these callers are spoofing their numbers and/or pretending to be the IRS threatening me, Microsoft wanting to "fix" my computer, or someone telling me I've won a cruise to the Bahamas.All the rest are hang-up robocalls with spoofed caller IDs.
As usual, this is yet another example of your tax dollars hard at work.

Agree. This is incompetence beyond the pale even for the US government

I get a call from some one saying they are asking for donation and they are from some police organization. When I go to to place a complaint, I am greeted with a message saying that I cannot file a complaint with that number because that number is not registered. What does that mean? Then what is the use of the "DoNotCall" site anyway if a complaint cannot be filed about a legitimate phone number?

You can reach the FTC Do Not Call registry at

Before you make a complaint about an unwanted voice call, you need to add your phone number to the Do Not Call Registry. You may file a complaint if you get an unwanted call after your number was on the National Registry for 31 days.

You may also file a complaint if you got a call that used a recorded message instead of a live person (whether or not your number was on the Registry).

Even if your number is registered, some organizations may still call you: charities, political organizations, and telephone surveyors. For a list of who may call, go to Consumer FAQs.


Why can't the govt. do a sting operation on these people & trace them that way. It can't be that hard. Years of the same annoying people calling , spoof #'s , Common

I have been on the "DONOTCALL" list since 2006. I have had my current phone number since 2009. How is this possible? Currently I am getting between 10 and 20 unidentified calls per day where the caller i.d. only displays a city name! I never answer but how can I stop this?!!!!

This service is a Joke... I'm sorry. I register it every 3 months... & continue to get solicitations on both my cell phone & home phone. Whatever you do ... Do NOT give AARP your real phone numbers. They SELL the numbers the very next day. I could 'wring' their necks give out privileged & personal information!!

I agree 100% I think the do not call list is a scam!...ever since I registered because of 1 number...I've had literally 15 calls a day from private or scam phone calls...and it only started after I registered! What is going on!? No one will even get back to me on my complaints about what's going on! I've even threatened to press charges! Its gotten soo bad it has worn out my battery

If I was a government official and had limited funds to solve this problem, I would write a script running on a PC connected to 3 IP phone lines. It would require access to carrier data and for traceable calls it would first respond with a robocall telling the telemarketer to cease. When they didn't cease, it would incessantly and perpetually flood the telemarketer's call center or primary corporate line with calls repeating that, "this call is in response to an illegal violation of the Do Not Call list, the fine is on average $1,000 per incident, and all illegal calls have been logged".

The problem is that the calls are coming in from off-shore. This isn't a problem US government should can be expected to solve, it a problem our phone companies should have to solve! Virtually all of these calls go over Verizon trunk lines at some point. All Verizon would need to do is turn off access to the offending location, (island or whatever) until the authorities there act to track down and prosecute the offenders. Attempting to do that from the USA side is virtually impossible so I am told.

Telemarketers call my home and personal cell phones from 1 call per day to as many as 30 a day telemarketing 14 calls from 3 different Company's from 5:59 PM to 8:45 PM. One company called 8 times in 13 minutes tying up the line with just dead air On my personal cell phone. I have a relative on dialyses so it is imperative I answer as he could need help at any time. I filed suit against a company for violations of the NO-CALL-LIST and the Court ruled that because I have a land line the personal cell phone registered on the NO-CALL-LIST since 2005 is not allowed because of my land line. I've spent 3 and a half years filing complaints to the State attorney general the FCC FTC and contacting Representative who is on the modernization of the TCPA committee who could be better to do something for us CONSUMERS but just like everyone else, I'm on my own. And the FCC and FTC websites all say personal cell phones, mobile phones , wireless phones are covered. I don't use my personal cell phone as a business phone nor put it in any advertisements ever, it is my personal cell, mobile wireless phone what ever you want to call it I use at my residence 98% of the time. To find out that as a matter of law because I have a land line the NO-CALL-LIST does not apply. Seems like the FCC ad FTC should give you the facts about the NO-CALL-LIST for Cell phones that are true. A phone call to people interrupting work sleeping dinner movies time with family or friends is not what they government is willing to enforce. The national debt could be payed off if the NO-CALL-LIST was enforced. But to eforce the laws passed by congress is not going to happen, looks like, as you well know.

The do not call registry is a joke. Its time we told our politicians that want to be re-elected to do something are you will find yourself on the unemployment line. Now if you answer and say you arent interested they swear at you.

Correct, Sharon. does not work. I can block up to 50 numbers on my phone service. My answering recording says, "Solicitors, hang up. If you're someone I know, leave a message." That has helped alot.

THIS SERVICE IS A JOKE! I would like to know how much of our tax dollars has been spent on this government bureaucratic BS! It is an absolute joke.

Most of these calls originate come through VIOP service providers - if you don't like that they will allow this scum to use their network, look up the VIOP companies business number and start calling them and hanging up after one ring, or better yet annoy the CEOs secretary by making them answer and then hanging up. It is only fair to waste their time and money

Do you want to know how their getting your number? Its very simple!! Do you have a cell phone with lots of downloaded apps? Well, look at the permissions the designers of the apps require for you to download their apps. Some of the requirements are full access to your emails, contacts, picture, the ability to change settings for most of your applications and access to just about everything else on your phone. These apps provide the ability for the apps designers to spy on you at any time they choose, they have the ability to copy your contacts, email, bank info - literately everything on your phone and sell it to telemarketers thus you and everyone on your contact list is at risk. I have turned off all the permissions of the apps that i don't use on my phone. BEFORE YOU DOWNLOAD ANY APP CHECK THE PERMISSIONS REQUIRED, YOU WILL BE SURPRISED! Good luck

Naaa... I have "dumb" cell phone and get plenty robo scam calls on it.

Yes, app designers certainly have the opportunity to play games but, as companies know all too well by now, abusing customer data will only end up hurting the image of their business on social media.

After registering our # with the do not call list, Ive been recieveing a lot more calls from telemarketers... Im wondering if they acutally share our information

The problem lies with VOIP operators who dole out telephone numbers without verifying the credentials or legitimacy. If laws were to be enacted and enforced to treat US-based telephone numbers similar to real-estate and ownership requires proof of residency, valid address, financial information., etc., overseas AND domestic scamsters can be stopped. Time to call up your congressperson.

The Do Not Call List is a BIG JOKE! The Government needs to put pressure on the telecommunications industry to block these continuous VOIP fake Phone Number telemarketers!

One of the problems is that telemarketing scammers are spoofing real numbers of people who do not realize their number is being spoofed. You can't turn off those numbers. The FCC needs to crack down on this technology.

wow read all these comments I put my number on the do not call list two days later my phone was ring off the hook calls from out of the country also I just don't answer any calls I don't know if u arnt in my phone book u don't get answered simple

I get several calls and text messages a day. The calls usually come from a local area code that's legit but the call isn't. Scammers have found a way to use legitimate area codes and re-route them from wherever they are. I no longer answer my phone. I tell my friends/coworkers to text me and I will call them back. It's horrible. Changing my cell number didn't help.

The DNCL is a joke. In cutting government services (Laugh now) this one should be eliminated as save tax money. It does nothing so why pay for such?

TWO points of attack are available to fight back at these scammers.

First is to spread the word to everyone you know to simply NEVER do business with anyone who calls you on the telephone ... PERIOD! If everyone did only that the phone calls would end, (legitimate businesses can mail you a post card). The problem for the scammers is that there is a very tiny percentage of vulnerable people out there who they can actually scam, they are counting on getting just one of them out of 1,000 calls to make it worth their effort. By educating people to make that 1 out of say 5000, many scammers will give up trying.

Which brings me to the second point of attack, if you have the time to burn their time - help out and DO IT! The time they waste on answering someone who pressed "1" with no intention of falling for their scam reduces the number of calls they can make per hour. Want they WANT is for smart people to just hang up after hearing the first few words of the robo message so they can move on quickly and make over 500 calls per hour.

BUT ... if every person they call presses 1 it clogs their call waiting queue and if it takes the person who finally gets on another 20 or 30 seconds before they hang up - they cannot make much more than 100 calls an hour.

So if it doesn't matter at the moment, always press "1". You don't have to even talk to anyone, just remain silent and you've helped burn their time costing them money. If we all burn enough of their time costing them enough of their money - they will stop trying.

The do not call list is NOT given to telemarketers? This is what is written above. Then how do they know NOT to call the number?

The do not call Registry simple does not work any longer. What happened?

I have spoken with the "Canadian Pharmacy" with Indian-accent caller 1-386-257-6036 several time and he/they continue to call my hardwire home phone. How do I proceed? I've even asked today at 1:40 pm "Do you need my number, is that the problem?" and he said they would not call again. Isn't this illegal 1x you tell them?

The FCC is not enforcing the do-not-call list. This section of the FCC should not be funded. It is a waste of taxpayer funds. The FCC staff is lazy and incompetent.


FTC is Useless. I've registered and i still get a flood of these stinking calls.


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