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National Do Not Call Registry and Cell Phones

If you are in the United States and have received an e-mail or e-mails urging you to register your cell phone with the National Do Not Call Registry take to moment to check the facts first. I received three such forwards and saw one FYI posted in one of my groups. I went to the National Do Not Call Registry site to see if these warnings were based on real facts and were true.

I found a press release dated April 15, 2005 titled "The Truth about Cell Phones and the National Do Not Call Registry". This of course is an apparent response to these e-mails. Here are portions of the NDNCR press release.

"If you’ve received an e-mail telling you that your cell phone is about to be assaulted by telemarketing calls as a result of a new cell phone number database, rest assured that this is not the case. Telemarketing to cell phone numbers has always been illegal in most cases and will continue to be so. In response to recent e-mail campaigns urging consumers to place their cell phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission issue this advisory to give consumers the facts."

The NDNCR press release gives an example of one of several e-mails you may receive.

"“JUST A REMINDER...In a few weeks, cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sale 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. PASS THIS ON TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS...”"...Here’s what you need to know about the National Do Not Call Registry program:..."

The press release further states, "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."

As in most urban legends truth is combined with fiction in forwarded e-mails. Although the federal government doesn't keep a list of cell phones, someone out there probably has a list, so it may be prudent to register your all of you family cell phones with the Registry. However, you should read the facts first by going to the Federal Trade Commission site for real information.

Also of interest: Cell Phone Curtesy and safety.

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