Cell Phone Telemarketer E-mail Scam
Claims cell phone numbers will soon be on telemarketer lists (but this is not true)
by Pinedale Online alert
September 26, 2007
Did you get an email claiming that your cell phone is about to be assaulted by telemarketing calls because of a new cell phone number database? Those claims are not true. In fact, federal law prohibits telemarketers from using automated dialers to call cell phones. You may place your personal cell phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry, but there is generally no reason to do so. For more information, See the FTC’s press release “The Truth about Cell Phones and the Do Not Call Registry”.
The National Do Not Call Registry
The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. Most telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days. If they do, you can file a complaint at this Website. You can register your home or mobile phone for free. Your registration will be effective for five years.
EXAMPLE OF THE BOGUS E-MAIL:
“REMINDER…12 days from today, all cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sales calls.
.......YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS
To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888-382-1222.
It is the National DO NOT CALL list. It will only take a minute of your time.. It blocks your number for five (5) years. You must call from the cell phone number you want to block. You cannot call from a different phone number.
HELP OTHERS BY PASSING THIS ON TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS.
It take about 20 seconds.”
The Truth about Cell Phones and the Do Not Call Registry
Despite Re-Circulating E-mail, It is Still Not Necessary to Register Cell Phone Numbers
As the number of phone numbers on the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry surpassed 139 million, the Federal Trade Commission today reiterated that despite the claims made in e-mails circulating on the Internet, consumers should not be concerned that their cell phone numbers will be released to telemarketers at any time in the near future. In addition, according to the agency, it is not necessary to register cell phone numbers on the DNC Registry to be protected from most telemarketing calls to cell phones.
The truth about cell phones and the DNC Registry is:
- Contrary to the e-mail, cell phone numbers are NOT being released to telemarketers, and you will NOT soon be getting telemarketing calls on your cell phone.
- There is NO deadline by which you must register your cell phone number on the Registry.
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations prohibit telemarketers from using automated dialers to call cell phone numbers. Automated dialers are standard in the industry, so most telemarketers are barred from calling consumers on their cell phones without their consent.
- The national associations representing telemarketers have stated that their clients do not intend to start calling consumers’ cell phones.
- There is only ONE DNC Registry. There is no separate registry for cell phones.
- The DNC Registry accepts registrations from both cell phones and land lines. You must call from the phone number that you want to register. If you register online, you must respond to a confirmation e-mail.
- While the telecommunications industry has been discussing the possibility of creating a wireless 411 directory, according to the FCC, even if a wireless 411 directory is established, most telemarketing calls to cell phones would still be illegal, regardless of whether the number is listed on the federal government’s National Do Not Call Registry.
For More Information
To learn more about the National DNC Registry and the rules that enforce it, visit the FTC at www.ftc.gov or the FCC at www.fcc.gov.
For more information about a planned “wireless 411” directory, visit http://www.qsent.com/wireless411.
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them.
To file a complaint in English or Spanish (bilingual counselors are available to take complaints), or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov.
The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
Mitchell J. Katz
Office of Public Affairs
Bureau of Consumer Protection