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 donotcall.gov from November 2016 through October 2017.

Some of the highlights: Last year there were 7.1 million complaints to the FTC at donotcall.gov, 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 donotcall.gov 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 ftc.gov/complaint. 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.

Comments

I'm disappointed by the FTC's approach to fixing this is on the back-end. All of your advice is reactive. One person defrauds 500 people; you want those 500 people to initiate blocking. Let’s block at the source.

How about we do this: the FTC should be working with the major carriers who "deliver" these robo-calls, they should never be delivered, which gives you time to eventually fix at source. How, you say?

Phone numbers or exchanges are "assigned.” In a digital world, the digital signature includes the "source and the destination." While you can "mask" or fake the caller-id, you have the technology to "see" if the call is originating from a block of assigned phone numbers. If a phone number (source) is transmitting a caller-id that is NOT within the assigned block of phone numbers/exchange authorized, block the call. Maybe the carriers have a different rationale for doing nothing, maybe because the carriers collect a fee for delivery?

John F

The relentless unwanted calls have become so intolerable, I'm forced to route all incoming landline calls thru my answering machine. The Dirtbag Callers are so bold, that they now use a signal, that overrides my machine, and their bogus pitches begin simultaneously over my outgoing message. This is criminal. Telcom Companies know exactly who's making such calls because they profit from selling time to the bogus scammers. Maybe fining the Telcom companies would begin to make a dent is this invasion of privacy atrocity.

Don't ignore the spammer. Answer the call and act interested as long as you can. The only way to stop them is to have each call take 5 minutes of their time with no sale. Speak slowly

For the ones that continually call, I find that if I talk to them and seem interested and ask for a mailing address to send the money to, etc., that I can get the company name and address. Once I get that info, I inform them that I'm not interested and that they are to remove me from further calls or I will file suit against them for harassment. I also file a complaint with the better business bureau in the area where their business resides. This has worked a few times for me already especially from these car warranty idiots who are calling me to get car warranty on a car I haven't owned in 5 years. My mom has alzheimers. She answered the phone one day and a car warranty company sold her warranty on a car she no longer owned. They were charging her Discover car every month. When I found out about this, I called the warranty company and told them to stop charging her for the warranty as I had power of attorney. They told me to send them a letter. I told them I was going to have Discover stop the charges that I wasn't sending them a letter to stop something they should have never sold her in the first place because we had asked them to stop calling. I would file suit against them if necessary. They stopped sending charges through to Discover. No one cares about what is right or wrong anymore and our government is not doing anything to stop it - fining the telecom companies is worthless - they have plenty of money. What they need to do is put laws in place to allow people to stop these companies from making these harassing calls and start putting their executives in jail for not providing the protection to consumers.

All these stats are great but disclose stats on cases prosecuted, criminally or civilly

See these recent enforcement actions related to the Do Not Call Registry. The Federal Trade Commission is a civil law enforcement agency.

If you don't know the caller from the ID don't answer. If It's important they will leave a message. Maybe we can get them to stop this way

I registered my numbers on the do not call lists. And like many here, all of a sudden I got more and more calls. Then I read the "do not call" website thoroughly and found that this site "to prevent calls", actually SELLS our numbers to people who make telemarketing calls...under the guise of letting them who NOT to call. Really!?

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.

Cell phone makers and answering machine makers could solve the unwanted call problem in a flash by making a machine that will only let "registered" phone number directly ring your phone. All other calls go to the answering machine. If you find a number in the answering machine that you wanted to call you directly, you add it to your registry. Problem solved.

The article about blocking unwanted calls explains how some mobile apps let you create whitelists, or numbers that you allow to ring through, that are broader than just your personal contacts.

Bridget, you respond to call blocking posts, etc. but you don't respond to the posts asking why the FTC doesn't force phone carriers to block these calls. This really stands out when I read these posts. Why don't you just admit that the FTC is not willing to ever do that because of lost $$$$ for the telecommunications companies. I wonder if other countries have this problem with unwanted calls? You are wasting a lot of people's time on here soliciting us for comments and solutions when your agency has the power to stop this. It's insulting. Please either go after the telecommunications companies or stop bothering us with these ridiculous, ineffective suggestions.

This August 2017 press release explains the FTC's work to support industry efforts to stop robocalls before they reach consumers.

The FTC sends the robocaller phone numbers that consumers report to telecommunications carriers that are implementing call-blocking solutions. Many call-blocking solutions rely on “blacklists” -- or databases of telephone numbers that have received significant consumer complaints -- as one way to determine which calls should be blocked or flagged before they reach consumers’ phones.

I took out my landline phone manual and found out how to block calls. It now rings once and goes to block. I hesitate to tell you how to do this as all phones are different. Works for me.

There is also a "call-blocking list" which prevents a number from calling you again once it has called. If someone does call, you simply dial *61 after the call. It will block that number from calling again.

I am on the do not call list, but receive many, many calls anyway - I don't answer a number I do not know - which leads to a problem, my health insurance company calls to check on me and their number comes in without any identification, so i do not answer, then they ask why I don't take their calls. Why don't they identify themselves in the caller ID instead of calling on a 888, 800 or sometimes my area code? I have told them, I don't answer calls that do not identify themselves. But to no avail. If you really want to call me, then identify yourself as such.

What is the use of the Do Not Call Registry ?!?! My wife and I have been on the Registry list for years, BUT, we both receive multiple calls each and every day for Auto Warranties, Timeshares, Trips, etc. Is there really anyway to stop unwanted calls ?!?! We are so tired of getting all of these unwanted calls !!!!

Too often I think it is a cheap way to advertise. The concept that phones are not toys seems to be a major issue too.

People just put this message on your phone. "I am monitoring my calls please state your business, leave your name and number." I guarantee they will hang up without leaving their name or number or say anything!

In your browser type "nomorobocalls; follow the prompts.works great

I live in North Carolina. I get calls at least once or twice a day from robocallers regarding expired warranties, etc. in spite of registering with do-not-call registry. What is interesting to me is that many of the calls have the same area code and first three digits of my own cell phone number. In instances when I have redialed the number, I reach a "real" person; then I say, "I'm just returning your call," and they always say that they did not call me. They seem to be innocent people whose numbers have been temporarily used/taken over to make a robo-call. How does that work, and why can't it be stopped?

This dataset is incredibly light/vague...where can one access all of the data that is collected for the registry?
Specifically, I'd like all of the data from each report/comment, a summary list of all companies/people that have been reported, a list of actions/enforcements the FTC has taken from the database, just to name a few.
I also can't make an account/link this comment/your answer to any tool of mine, so I don't see why you even have comments here...clearly I'm using them, but that is also because there is no clear path regarding whom to contact about this data, so I just came back to the source.

To learn more, you could follow the links in this blog post to review the press release. The press release has additional useful links, including a link to the full report on FTC.gov.

Law enforcement agencies that are members of the Consumer Sentinel Network review the complaints that consumers file with the FTC, as well as consumer registration and telemarketer access information, through the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database maintained by the FTC. For more information about Sentinel, visit ftc.gov/sentinel. Law enforcement personnel may join Sentinel at register.consumersentinel.gov.

Are you aware of any possible linkage between identity theft of personal information (that being phone number and name) and phone calls with someone checking if the number is answered and valid? So many are getting unwanted calls with no one there when we answer, along with robocalls even when we are on the Do-Not-Call list.

Shocker there every comment I made "submitted for review" why is that?! I didn't swear! I can tell you

This is a moderated blog; we review all comments before they are posted.  We will not post comments that do not comply with our commenting policy.

I've been getting repeated calls from people trying to sell health insurance. When I try to tell them, I've already got insurance, they just talk over me and don't listen. I can't block the calls because they use different numbers. I've heard similar complaints from friends.

The "No Call List" maintained by the Federal Government is no longer of any use.

1. Callers fake the number they are supposedly calling from. If you try and call them back you get a message saying the number is not in service.
2. The people in the office that manages the list can't seem to do anything to block or prevent the calls being made by thousands of fake, fraudulent, scammers and other callers.
3. I have almost 100 numbers blocked on my telephone and they still keep coming, mostly using a fake number.
Should think it is time to eliminate the "No call list" program and office, saving the money it cost to operate.
An FCC directive to allow cell phone, internet phone and home phone customers to block numbers at no cost to the customers would hopefully stop the many phone calls received every day all over the country.

why can’t the states regulate the phone systems. charge these companys for maki g these calls. make these calls blocked unless the companies pay for the robot calls. if people are on the do not call list these people should automatically be blocked. the companies who do this robot calling need CHARGED and/or Fined for doing this.

I do not understand why I cannot enter calls I received. I registered over a year ago and it says I am not registered. So I registered again (fourth time), and now I have to wait 31 days.

Seriously, is there NO WAY to track down these companies and put them out of business? All the technology we have and still this is a problem.

Does being on the national do not call registry prevent registered numbers from being sold by list brokers? I asked a caller how they got my number and was told they bought a list of people's names and numbers matching certain criteria. Shouldn't registered numbers be vetted?

When you add your number to the Do Not Call list, you should stop getting sales calls within 31 days. You still may receive political calls, charitable calls, debt collection calls, informational calls (from your airline or school for example), and telephone survey calls.

I just added my number to the registry. Do I have to do this again at the beginning of the year?

No, you don't have to register again. Telephone numbers on the Registry don’t expire. We only remove your number when it’s disconnected and reassigned, or if you ask us to remove it.

I recently had a telemarkerter tell me that the do not call list no longer existed and even it it did there was no way to stop him....

That telemarketer wasn't telling the truth. The federal Do Not Call list still exists, and you can add your number at FTC.gov/DoNotCall.

First, let me say that the FTC is trying to do something about unwanted calls. I have reported calls in the past to the FTC and the District Attorney's Office where the spam area code is from. Both times I received letters from the FTC and DA's offices and calls from those scammers stopped. However, the shear number of calls that I receive daily make this solution impractical. Think about it. If 1 person who posted here gets up to 55 scam calls a day, multiple that by millions. This isn't a simple problem with a quick simple answer. I too, wonder how they know what prefixes I generally call, sounds like someone is locking in on our calls. I can tell you that 6 months ago I switched from AT&T to Verizon and my scam calls have tripled. So it appears that there may be some carrier culpability even if it is that they are just easier to hack/fool. I do not answer calls unless they are in my contacts but that makes no difference in the number of calls that I get.

This do not call list is useless. I got a call and my caller ID showed I was calling myself!!! Calls can be traced if illegal activity is involved so why can't we use this technology to stop these incessant useless calls?

When will it actually WORK.!!!!!!!

please registry my number on your do not call list

Go to FTC.gov/DoNotCall and register your number.

I am trying to register now.

This system is not working 6-8 calls a day.

If there is a "do-not-call list" it sure as hell isn't working!!
Must b a myth!!

I opt out to all type of unwanted/unneeded calls

They appear to be using Google Voice phone numbers locally for these robocalls, i wish either google or the govt could stop them

It's gotten to the point with spammers that I've blocked over 200 area codes on my cordless phone. Turns out spammers have upped their game by spoofing numbers that begin with my area code and prefix. As a result I'm forced to only answer recognized numbers. Hopefully people/companies that are legit and need to get in touch with me will leave a name and number on the voice mail.

I get calls all the time!

It will take the feds to FORCE the phone companies to stop the unwanted calls period.

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