Unwanted Calls and the Do Not Call Registry

Unwanted Calls and the Do Not Call Registry

We have just finished a long election period where swing states like Florida were barraged by “survey calls”, robo-calls. In addition, people receive calls from charities, other survey companies and telemarketing calls. Seniors are a major target by political parties, charities and companies alike. Placing one’s number on the National Do Not Call Registry will stop some, but not all, unsolicited calls. Only residential lines can be listed, not business lines. Consumers no longer need to renew their telephone numbers every five (5) years as once the number is registered it stays on the list until actively removed.

Exceptions and Loopholes
Political organizations, charities and survey takers are permitted to call as well as businesses with whom something has been purchased or a payment has been made within the past 18 months. These types of organizations can register with donotcall.gov and can purchase telephone lists from the Do Not Call Registry. If the person called requests their number be taken off that caller’s list, the caller must honor that request. Survey companies have an interesting loophole as they often ask if they can make a “follow-up” call. If the person says yes, an associated for-profit company can call with a sales pitch. It is therefore best to decline all offers for “follow-up.”

Do Not Call Registry
There is a national Do Not Call list and a Florida Do Not Call list. Landlines and cell phones can be registered. It is best to register on both lists. It takes up to 31 days for the request to take full effect.

National Do Not Call List
To register on the national list call 1-888-382-1222 or go to the website: https://www.donotcall.gov/register/reg.aspx.

Florida Do Not Call List
To register on the Florida list call 1-800-435-7352 or go to the website: https://www.fldnc.com/.

Cell Phones and Hoaxes
Periodically a hoax goes viral warning that cellphone numbers are about to go public and to register your mobile number immediately. The online message says there’s a deadline to register your cellphone, and – once registered – it only blocks your number for five years.

This message is a hoax. Cellphone numbers have never been in any danger of being made public or released to telemarketers. There has never been a deadline to register your cellphone. And, as state, the five year rule no longer exists. In fact, even if you DON’T sign up your cellphone, the FTC says that unsolicited telemarketing calls or robo-calls to cellphones are illegal. That said, you want to register and avoid the calls in the first place.

 

Be active in protecting yourself and the seniors in your life, register all telephones.