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What’s up with the National Do Not Call Registry?

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Is your number one of the more than 229 million phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry? Then you might be interested in the FTC’s just-released National Do Not Call Registry Data Book, which gives an overview of the Registry and complaints the FTC received at from November 2016 through October 2017.

Some of the highlights: Last year there were 7.1 million complaints to the FTC at, and the majority of people reported getting robocalls. The most reported topics were calls about debt reduction, vacation and timeshares, and warranty plans. Each state has its own breakdown so you can check out what is going on where you live, too.

The Do Not Call Data Book also shows that many of the calls reported at are robocalls. Just keep in mind that pre-recorded sales calls are illegal whether you’re on the Registry or not unless a company has your written permission to call you that way.

You can learn more about the Do Not Call Registry in our FAQs.

Are you already on the Registry and still getting a lot of unwanted calls? Odds are, many of those calls are from scammers. Check out our article on blocking unwanted calls to learn more about what you can do — including reporting them at When you report illegal calls, we take the phone numbers you complain about and release them each business day. This helps telecommunications carriers and other industry partners that are working on call blocking solutions. Your complaints also help law enforcement identify the people behind illegal calls.


This has been the worst year,for telemarketers and fake debt collectors.My cellphone gets blown up every week, with unwanted calls.I wish these people will stop calling.

I put a call blocker on my cell because of this. Only calls from my contact list come through.

What is the name of the call blocker you used? I want to install it on all my phones.

Plz plz give me the name of the CALL BLOCKER. I NEED it now!

This FTC article about blocking unwanted calls has some ideas for you.

How do you do that?

This is not easy to do when you are searching for work. You need to keep your line open to call from prospective employers


What if your doctor's office calls or a friend calls from a different #?

How did you do that? I keep getting calls from people with Indian accents. This morning the guy asked if this was (my name) and if I was the one with pain in my legs and back. I said no and then he says "then in your neck and arms"? I said no and don't call me take me off your calling list. The phone number is 332-545-4585. I tried calling it back and it doesn't connect with anything. How did he get my phone number and first name?

They can get your name from either the phone book or from a cursory google search.

I put call blocking from the government and still get inundated with robocalls it's like they work together government is no help

This is a cash cow. It’s similar to junk mail via the US Mail service. Junk mailers pay postage with a very large discount. Without that discount you wouldn’t be getting 99% of the junk mail you receive.

The telephone companies receive money from these callers. So that they can do this legally. The federal government sells the National Do Not Call list so that the callers have a list of legitimate phone numbers.

Businesses that are allowed to use the Do Not Call Registry must set up a profile and provide identifying information about themselves and their organization. Any entity that accesses the national registry will be required to certify, under penalty of law, that it is accessing the registry solely to comply with the Telemarketing Sales Rule or to prevent calls to numbers on the registry. It is illegal for anyone to use the Registry for any purpose other than preventing telemarketing calls to the telephone numbers on the registry.

What the FTC does not allow is not in line with their ability to enforce, apparently. And I don't see a disagreement that fees are paid to see this list. I put my number on the DoNot Call and STILL get plenty of spam calls. And then you charge fees for the list to my phone providers who pass that charge along to me - accomplishing nothing but increasing my costs. Do Not Call wasa great idea, but time to recognize it has FAILED COMPLETELY and is COUTERPRODUCTIVE.

You are absolutely correct, plus, no one is recognizing the fact that the penalties collected could outright fund the DNC registry...but they still charge EVERYONE(on both sides of the call) for it's existence and use. Just in the past 2 years, there were in excess of $300 million in fines, where is all this money going???

We hear on the news that President Trump was making robocalls in favor or against something or someone. Is that not just as illegal as some scammer doing the same thing?

The Do Not Call Registry prohibits sales calls. If your number is on the Do Not Call Registry, you still may receive political calls, charitable calls, debt collection calls, informational calls, and telephone survey calls.

That made me laugh, Trump could care less.

So he doesn't care about phone calls but cares about internet usage? Hmmm....

Was that on fake news?

No, the very real news. Trump recorded a robocall for Roy Moore, Obama recorded one for Jones.

Then there may or not not be that thing about that one thing that does or doesn't have anything to do with this thing.

I constantly receive calls from charities requesting donations, especially the Autistic Children's Fund, The American Cancer Society, And various Veterans' support groups. I'm on disability and am myself a cancer survivor and although I know charities are exempt from the Do Not Call list, why aren't they required to quit calling AFTER THEY'RE REPEATEDLY TOLD TO REMOVE MY NAME FROM THEIR DATTABASE. WHO POLICES THEM? ANYONE?

For those who complain about getting calls/messages from charities..the best way to stop that is to never give money to any charity. If u ever gave money to a charity, as soon as you stopped giving regularly(or even before that), the will sell your name and address details to any other charity that will pay for your details! So look over you charitable donations d you will find where you agrees to that most surely. Good takes years to get of that list!!

Thanks for trying to tackle such a difficult problem & Merry Chridtmas!

Being on the "DO NOT CALL REGISTRY" is allowing more robocalls to be made.

THE ONLY do not call program that DOES WORK, is "nomorobo" Some calls will still come through but this eliminates most. The "do not call" used to work, but no more. Remember, and sign up for "nomorobo".


Let it go to voice mail. If it's not a caller I'd call back, or if caller left no message, I assume it's a robo or spam call and I report it as spam. I've been told but have not verified that, if you call back, you've just verified your number to the spammer, who can check it as "confirmed working number" and add it to the spammer's sell-able phone list.

Letting it go to the Answer Device, is double the annoyance, they don't use the message feature and just hang up when they here the beep. This is intentional, as punishment, because it results in a loud, buzzing, alarm, followed by: "If you wish to make a call please hang-up"

Being on the "DO NOT CALL REGISTRY" has allowed more robocalls-telemarketer-and anyone else to call.

I agree. I've opted to not get calls on land or cell for two years. I believe I get more calls and now texts too.

i believe the DNC is SELLING ALL THE DNC numbers. I also believe the Call Blockers are selling our numbers too so you will continue to use them.

Can't remember where I heard this but it's good...when you get a scam text reply with "Congratulations! You have successfully subscribed to Prayer of the Day. 50 Pecos will be deducted from your payload." They have texted back with "cancel" and I reply "Sorry, you have entered an invalid code. Please try again."

I monitor all my calls via caller ID and i do not pick up the phone unless I recognize the caller. Annoying calls persist in spite of being on DO NOT CALL list. Yesterday, when the caller ID came up as my mother's nursing home, of course I answered. It was a man trying to sell me a credit card! I reported it immediately to the nursing home. Does a scammer now know what calls I WILL answer? This happened to me before. ID said it was Rite Aid. It wasn't!

Sometimes I wonder if the do not call registry works at all. We get about a dozen calls some days everyday and usually at least 3-4 calls a day.

I agree also. I get so many more calls now since I registered !

Is there anything that can be done about calls coming in from social media sites to verify who the actual callers are? Many are getting calls saying they are certain people and eventually scamming innocent people for money. Is there anyway to get a program to trace these calls to see if I am talking to who they say they are? Many people need this badly!!!! Especially older women.

If you want to be sure you talk to the right person, find their phone number and place the call yourself.

If someone calls you, they could be an imposter. Criminals can use technology to change their voices and hide their real telephone numbers. They can trick you into sending money, or sharing personal information. A scammer could a make a copy-cat social media site that resembles a famous person's site and use the fake site to trick people.

Why can't the FTC make the phone carriers block the robo calls at their switch yard? If you want to receive annoying calls you can sign up for them. I'll bet no one signs up. We're all sick of being harassed.

You've got that right. And they will never respond to comments such as yours because they know that they can fix this but don't want to. Instead, they want us to jump through all these hoops for absolutely NOTHING.

Here are some ways to learn about the FTC's fight against robocalls.

You can read about what FTC's enforcement of the Do Not Call registry and the 134 enforcement actions against companies and telemarketers for Do Not Call, abandoned call, robocall and Registry violations. To date, 121 of these FTC enforcement actions have been resolved, and in those cases the agency has recovered over $50 million in civil penalties and $71 million in redress or disgorgement.

Take a look at this infographic,  which shows the technology behind robocalls, and how internet-powered systems make it make it cheap and easy for scammers to make illegal calls from anywhere in the world and hide from law enforcement by displaying fake caller ID information.

When people file complaints with the FTC about unwanted calls, the FTC prepares lists of those numbers and releases them each business day to telecommunciations carriers and industry partners that are working on call blocking solutions. Many call blocking tools rely on blacklists. Those are databases of phone numbers that have been reported as the source of illegal calls. Companies will be able to use this information to help identify which calls should be blocked or flagged.

I have discovered one thing that will defeat robocalls. Due to business, politics and high tech it appears that only thing can stop these. Turn your phone off for about 3 days the robocall software will stop calling if it keeps getting a dead number.

nope. I go to europe once an year for at least 2 weeks every time and my phone is always turned off during that time. Sometimes I get first spam call when I am still at the airport after return to US

Add you senator’s and congressmen’s phone numbers to the DNC list and see what happens

"Bridgett" will not respond to your post because the FTC knows that they will always protect the phone companies.

Janet, you did in fact reply to Bridget!s post.

Unfortunately that's not as easy as it sounds. Scammers very often use "disposable" phone numbers where the same sketchy "company" will call you multiple times and each time from a different number. Additionally scammers can spoof caller ID, making the originating source more difficult to figure out. Unfortunately there isn't an easy solution for this problem. I really wish there were because I get called several times a day, even on a phone number that I haven't given out and have had for years.

I mostly get time share or vacation calls and always from a woman with same name and same voice but come from different local phone #'s. Mostly I ignore all calls unless I know who it is until I hear them leave a message. If they don't leave a message I know they are sales or a scam artist.


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