5 on Your Side

Cell Phone Telemarketers Warning

Posted November 18, 2009 6:16 p.m. EST

The WARNING e-mails are making the rounds again! They REMIND you that “Cell phone numbers go public” next month, that they’ll be “released to telemarketers” and that “you will be charged” for those calls if you don’t register your cell number with the National DO NOT CALL REGISTRY. While you CAN register your number, NOT doing it won’t mean you'll be flooded with telemarketer calls! The e-mail has been circulating since about 2004 and seems to stem from efforts by the wireless phone industry to establish a wireless 411 phone directory. But here are the FACTS according to the FCC:
• As of right now, a wireless 411 directory is only in the IDEA stage.
• Even if a wireless 411 directory is established, most telemarketing calls to wireless phones would still be illegal. For example, it is unlawful for any person to make a call using any automatic telephone dialing system or any artificial or prerecorded voice message to any telephone number assigned to a paging service, mobile telephone service, or any service for which the called party is charged for the call. This rule applies regardless of whether the number is listed on the national Do-Not-Call list.
Also, the federal government does not have a separate Do-Not-Call list for wireless phone numbers, although you can add that number to the national Do-Not-Call list. Just go to www.donotcall.gov, or call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone number you wish to register.
The do-not-call rules require callers that aren’t exempt from the rules to stop telemarketing calls 30 days after you register a number. There is no deadline to register your phone numbers. So if you get an e-mail alert with that warning, alert the sender that it is NOT true!

About this Blog:

In addition to the stories you see on TV, Monica is always looking for ways to help consumers find deals and avoid fraud. She'll blog about what you need to know here.