Cell Phone Numbers Are Being Handed Over to Telemarketers And You’ve Got a Short Time to Keep Your Cell Phone Number Out of Their Hands Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

The eRumor warns that cell phone numbers will soon be published in the same way as the numbers for wired phones and that you should sign up with a new government cell phone “do not call” registry to prevent solicitor calls from coming to your mobile phone. Some versions say the cell phone numbers are being handed over to telemarketers by a certain date, such as January 1, 2005.

Some versions say there is a deadline for listing your cell phone on a “do not call list” such as December, 2004.

A recent version claims that the cell phone companies are required by law to release the names by June 1, 2006.


The Truth:

The U.S. government has established a “do not call” registry where you can list phone numbers you want blocked from unsolicited calls such as from telemarketers.

That registry is for both wired and mobile phones and there is no deadline by which a phone number needs to be listed in order to be protected from telemarketing calls.
There is not a separate cell phone registry.
The registry is at:  www.donotcall.gov.

At this writing there is discussion among mobile providers about setting up a mobile phone directory listing mobile phone numbers.

According to the Cellular Telephone and Internet Association (CTIA), a cell phone directory is proposed that would be available through calling directory assistance only, not published in writing or on the Internet.

So far, there is not a set date when that will be done and the CTIA says the numbers are not going to be “handed over” to telemarketers.

Users would have the option of not having their numbers listed in the directory.

Some telemarketers call some phone numbers regardless of whether they are listed in directories because they use devices that dial numbers in sequence looking for working numbers although at present, they are prohibited by law from including cell numbers.

The version that claims that the cell companies are being required by law to release the names by June 1, 2006, is also a hoax.

Updated 4/24/06

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Version #1

Starting Jan 1, 2005, all cell phone numbers will be made public to telemarketing firms. So this means as of Jan 1, your cell phone may start ringing off the hook with telemarketers, but unlike your home phone, most of you pay for your incoming calls. These telemarketers will eat up your free minutes and end up costing you money in the  long run.

 According to the National Do Not Call List, you have until Dec. 15th 2004 to get on the national “Do not call list” for cell phones.  They  said that you need to call 1-888-382-1222 from the cell phone that  you wish to have put on the “do not call list” to be put on the list.

 They also said you can do it online at:  http://www.donotcall.gov/

 Registering only takes a minute, is in effect for 5 years and will possibly save you money (definitely frustration)! Make sure you register now!

Version #2

A directory of cell phone numbers will soon be published which all consumers may access. This will open the doors for solicitors to call you on your cell phones, using your precious minutes. The Federal Trade Commission has set up a “do not call” list. It is called a cell phone registry. To be included on the “do not call” list, you must call

1-888-382-1222 from the number you wish to register……or you can go to their website at http://www.donotcall.gov to sign up (under the heading “Register A Phone Number”).

Version #3

Hey, everyone!

Just a reminder that as of June 1, 2006, all cellular providers are mandated by law to release their client lists to tele-marketing firms.

If you don’t want your cell phone minutes sucked up by unwanted solicitations, place your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry.

Call this number from the phone that you want to register:  888-382-1222

You can also register online at:  donotcall.gov