How Do You Block Telemarketers for Free?


Quick Answer

To block telemarketers for free as of November 2015, list your phone number with the Federal Communications Commission's Do-Not-Call Registry by calling the registry's phone number or visiting its website. This registry covers the entire United States and prevents both inter- and intra-state telemarketers from calling people on the list.

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Full Answer

The FCC makes it possible to register your number with their Do-Not-Call Registry online or by phone to block unwanted telemarketing calls. The registry was voted into place in 2003 in response to complaints from consumers, and more than 50 million numbers were listed in the first three months of the registry's existence. Since then, that figure has reached 221 million.

Most telemarketers in the nation are restricted by the Do-Not-Call list, with exceptions for some non-profits. Exceptions are also granted for companies consumers already have a relationship with or have given permission to call, or calls that are not commercial in nature.

Telemarketers must search the registry once a month for updated numbers and transfer that data to their systems. The Federal Trade Commission enforces the registry, and violations to the system can result in civil litigation and penalties. Since its enactment, more than 100 actions have been brought against companies for infractions. The largest settlement to date was against Mortgage Investors in 2014 for over seven million dollars.

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