RALEIGH, N.C. — More than 1.5 million North Carolina telephone numbers have been placed on the Do Not Call Registry.
"North Carolinians are exercising their new-found power to choose who calls them at home," said Attorney General Roy Cooper. "No longer will they be at the mercy of telemarketers who want to decide when they should go shopping."
Nationwide, 48.4 million numbers have been added to the Do Not Call Registry since it began in July. North Carolina ranks fifth in the nation in the state's percentage of new registrants, and eighth in the total number of new registrants.
Registry totals rose sharply as consumers rushed to sign up over the Labor Day weekend. Consumers who registered by August 31 at midnight should see a reduction in telemarketing calls starting October 1. Consumers who missed that deadline can continue to sign up, but telemarketers will have an additional 3 months before they have to take those numbers off of their lists.
, a Web site established by the Attorney General's Office to help consumers sign up for the Registry, has received some 25,000 hits during the past 3 weeks.
Consumers attempting to sign up online need to make sure they take all steps necessary to complete the registration process, Cooper said. To register via the web, consumers must open the email that verifies their registration and then visit the link included in that email.
Cooper also cautioned that consumers should be on the look out for marketing efforts, such as contests or free product offers, that could weaken Do Not Call protections. Signing up for some promotions may give telemarketers permission to call even if the consumer has listed his or her number on the Registry.
To stop most telemarketers from calling them, consumers can list their home and mobile telephone numbers on the Do Not Call Registry.
Consumers who have an active email address can put their numbers on the list by going to
. Consumers in North Carolina can also sign up by calling
from the telephone number they wish to register.
North Carolinians who sign up for the national Registry will automatically benefit from the new state Do Not Call law, passed by the North Carolina General Assembly.
The state law means that North Carolinians who register will be protected even if rulings in court or changes in regulations dismantle the national registry.
"Consumers are jumping at the chance to register their phone numbers and start enjoying the peace and quiet offered by the Registry and our state Do Not Call law," said Cooper. "And starting October 1, you can be sure that I'll enforce the law so that consumers get the protections they deserve."