Do Not Call Registry list does not block all unwanted phone calls

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The registry prevents unsolicited sales calls and robocalls, but doesn’t stop political, charity, debt collection or scam callers.

In 2003, the Federal Trade Commission introduced the Do Not Call Registry, which provided people with the opportunity to opt out of telemarketing phone calls by submitting their phone number. The registry has over 249 million registered phone numbers. 

A VERIFY reader reached out asking about what types of phone calls the Do Not Call Registry blocks, after they received numerous unsolicited phone calls despite their number being registered. 

THE QUESTION

Does the national Do Not Call Registry stop all unsolicited phone calls?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, the national Do Not Call Registry does not stop all unsolicited phone calls. 

WHAT WE FOUND

The Do Not Call Registry stops unsolicited or illegal phone calls from telemarketers, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says. But there are multiple types of unsolicited phone calls that the Do Not Call Registry does not stop.

The Do Not Call Registry does not stop unsolicited political calls, charitable calls, debt collection calls, informational calls or surveys that do not ask you to buy anything, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says.

It’s also important to note that the Do Not Call Registry does not actually block callers. It simply tells registered telemarketers not to call certain numbers, which means “being on the Registry won’t stop calls from scammers making illegal calls,” the FTC says. If an illegal robocall is made, however, those companies can be fined up to $50,120 per call, the FTC adds.

A phone number can be added to the Do Not Call Registry on the program’s official website. After a phone number has been registered, the FTC says telemarketers have 31 days to stop calling that number.

If you receive an unsolicited robocall, the FCC says to hang up and report it on their website

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Do Not Call Registry list does not block all unwanted phone calls

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