The National Do Not Call Registry Can Limit Telemarketing Calls to Your Home

The National Do Not Call Registry (the Registry) gives U.S. consumers the opportunity to limit telemarketing calls received on their personal phone numbers, such as home and cell phone numbers. Register your number(s) by visiting or by calling 888.382.1222. The National Do Not Call Registry is a free service managed by the Federal Trade Commission.

Once your number has been on the Registry for 31 days, most telemarketers should not call your number. If they do continue calling, or if you have received a telemarketing call that uses a recorded message instead of a live person, you can file a complaint.

Placing your number on the Registry will stop most, but not all, telemarketing calls. Calls from or on behalf of political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors are still permitted because they are not considered "telemarketing." However, if a third-party telemarketer calls on behalf of a charity, a consumer may ask not to receive any more calls from, or on behalf of, that specific charity. If the third-party telemarketer calls again on behalf of that charity, the telemarketer may be subject to a fine of up to $16,000.

If a call is for the sole purpose of conducting a survey, it is not covered by the Registry. However, callers purporting to take a survey, but also offering to sell goods or services, must comply with the Registry.

Debt collectors may also continue to call you whether your number is on the Registry or not. Bummer!

By purchasing something from a company, you established a business relationship with the company. As a result, even if you put your number on the Registry, that company may call you for up to 18 months after your last purchase or delivery from it, or your last payment to it. However, if you ask that company not to call again, the company must honor your request not to call. Keep a record of the date you make the request. If they subsequently call you again, they may be subject to a fine of up to $16,000.

Any telemarketers calling U.S. consumers are covered, regardless of where they are calling from. If a company within the U.S. solicits sales through an overseas professional telemarketer, that U.S. company may be liable for any violations by the telemarketer.

If you are on the Do Not Call Registry but don't mind a particular telemarketer calling you, you may give the company written permission to call you, and they may do so even if you have placed your number on the National Do Not Call Registry.

If you are contacted by someone that claims they can or will register your phone number on the Registry on your behalf, particularly for a fee, it is probably a scam. Registering is so simple that you don't need a third party to help you!

The National Do Not Call Registry is only for personal phone numbers. Business-to-business calls and faxes are not covered by the Registry.

Telephone numbers on the registry will only be removed when they are disconnected and reassigned, or when the consumer chooses to remove a number from the registry.