Q:

What are some facts about the national cell phone Do Not Call list hoax?

A:

Quick Answer

As of 2015, despite claims made in emails, cell phone users need not register their numbers with the national Do Not Call registry by an upcoming deadline to avoid an onslaught of costly calls from telemarketers. The Do Not Call registry has no deadline, and cell phone users are protected by other laws.

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Full Answer

The hoax emails regarding cell phones, the national Do Not Call registry, a wireless phone directory and telemarketers grew out of a misunderstanding about the proposed creation of a wireless directory assistance service. There was an effort put forth by wireless providers to create such a service to be available only to the providers, but it has not come to fruition.

Although cell phone subscribers are already protected by the CAN SPAM Act of 2003 and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, they can list their numbers on the Do Not Call registry as an added measure of protection if they choose. Laws already prohibit unsolicited commercial messages and the use of auto-dialers or any artificial or pre-recorded voice messages to cell phones. Further, there has never been a deadline by which a number must be registered, nor do entries expire after five years.

The effects of a hoax like this that warns of calls from telemarketers costing the cell phone user money per minute have decreased over time as many cell phone providers offer unlimited talk time. Far fewer people worry about cell phone minutes, making concern over charges from telemarketing calls, no matter how annoying, less dire.

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