Ask Andy: Cell phone urban legend - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported By Andy Wise

Ask Andy: Cell phone urban legend

If you haven't received it yet, you will.

It's a hyped-up, all-bold-letters e-mail warning that all cell phone numbers are going public.  It says the numbers are going to telemarketers, and you will soon be swarmed with sales calls that you will have to pay for.

It lists a toll-free number to call so you can keep your cell number from being released.

Except for that toll-free number, the e-mail is FALSE.

No one -- not the government, not the cell phone companies -- is releasing your cell phone number to the public.  It simply isn't true.  In fact, neither the Federal Trade Commission nor its National Do Not Call Registry keep a working list of Americans' cell phone numbers.

The only time the registry adds a cell phone number to its do-not-call list is when a consumer requests that his/her cell number be added to it.  Even then, the registry does not share that number or ANY number with any person, agency or telemarketer.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules prohibit telemarketers from using automated dialers to ring cell phone numbers.

So you can call the National Do Not Call Registry and have your cell phone number added to it, but YOU DO NOT HAVE TO!

If you feel you absolutely have to do it, you can register either your cell number or your land-line number at www.donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.  The FTC says your registration is effective within 31 days of signing up.  You must renew it every five years.  


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