FCC issues formal smack down of a multiyear email hoax

Released September 17, 2009:

For several years there has been a rumor circulating, mostly by e-mail, that a nationwide directory of cell phone numbers will be made available to telemarketers, and that consumers will start receiving telemarketing calls on their cell phones.

There is no truth to this rumor. Cell phone numbers are not being released to telemarketers, and you will not soon be getting telemarketing calls on your cell phone. FCC rules prohibit the use of autodialers and prerecorded messages to call cell phones without the consumer’s consent. Thus, most telemarketers are barred from contacting consumers on their cell phones.

The e-mail spreading the rumor often suggests that consumers put their cell phone numbers on the National Do-Not-Call Registry by going on-line at http://www.donotcall.gov or by calling 1- 888-382-1222. This is the correct contact information for the National Do-Not-Call Registry. Consumers may register their cell phone numbers as an extra protection against unwanted telemarketing calls, although most telemarketing calls to cell phones would be illegal regardless of whether the number is listed on the Do-Not-Call Registry.

Original FCC message is here.