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Will My Cell Phone Number Go Public?

If you have an email account, you have likely received a message like this:

REMEMBER: Cell Phone Numbers Go Public this month.
 REMINDER.....  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 have blocked. You cannot call from a different phone number.
 
 HELP OTHERS BY PASSING THIS ON .. It takes about 20 seconds. 

Or

The Federal Trade Commission has set up a "do not call" list. It is called a cell phone registry. To be included on the "do not call" list, you must call from the number you wish to register.

Many of us at CTIA have received this email from our friends and family along with this question: “Is it true?”

Quite simply, no it is not.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):

  • 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 federal government does not maintain a national cell phone registry. Personal cell phone users have always been able to add their numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry — the same Registry consumers use to register their land lines — either online at www.donotcall.gov or by calling toll-free 1-888-382-1222 from the telephone number they wish to register. Registrations become effective within 31 days of signing up and are active for five years. There is no cut-off date or deadline for registrations.
  • Business-to-business calls are not covered under the Registry.

The FTC also provides a simple guide on cell phones and the Do Not Call Registry.

We also suggest reading Snopes’ take which includes the origins of this hoax.

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