Registering cell phones on federal Do Not Call list?
– No release of cell numbers to telemarketers imminent

An e-mail message forwarded to ITD this week warned all cell-phone users to register their numbers with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) “Do Not Call” list before all numbers are made public at the end of November.

The warning said:
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:…   

Although it might be a good idea to place your phone numbers – line-based as well as cell – on the federal “Do Not Call” list to minimize the number of solicitation calls, there apparently is no impending release of cell phone numbers to telemarketers.

“Despite re-circulating e-mail, it is still not necessary to register cell phone numbers,” according to the FTC.

The FTC provides the following on its website (

As the number of phone numbers on the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry surpassed 139 million, the Federal Trade Commission … reiterated that despite the claims made in e-mails circulating on the Internet, consumers should not be concerned that their cell phone numbers will be released to telemarketers at any time in the near future. In addition, according to the agency, it is not necessary to register cell phone numbers on the DNC Registry to be protected from most telemarketing calls to cell phones.

The truth about cell phones and the DNC Registry is:

  • Contrary to the e-mail, cell phone numbers are NOT being released to telemarketers, and you will NOT soon be getting telemarketing calls on your cell phone.
  • There is NO deadline by which you must register your cell phone number on the Registry.
  • Federal Communications Commission (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 national associations representing telemarketers have stated that their clients do not intend to start calling consumers’ cell phones.
  • There is only ONE DNC Registry. There is no separate registry for cell phones.
  • The DNC Registry accepts registrations from both cell phones and land lines. You must call from the phone number that you want to register. If you register online, you must respond to a confirmation e-mail.
  • While the telecommunications industry has been discussing the possibility of creating a wireless 411 directory, according to the FCC, even if a wireless 411 directory is established, most telemarketing calls to cell phones would still be illegal, regardless of whether the number is listed on the federal government’s National Do Not Call Registry.

For more information
To learn more about the National DNC Registry and the rules that enforce it, visit the FTC at or the FCC at

Published 11-5-2010