More Than 223 Million Phone Numbers on Do Not Call List
The Federal Trade Commission today issued the National Do Not Call Registry Data Book for Fiscal Year 2013. The FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry lets consumers choose not to receive telemarketing calls. In its fifth year of publication, the Data Book contains a wealth of information about the Registry for FY 2013 (from October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013), including:
- The number of active registrations and consumer complaints since the Registry began in 2003;
- FY 2013 complaint figures by month and type;
- FY 2013 registration and complaint figures for all 50 states and the District of Columbia by population;
- Rankings of the number of Do Not Call registrations by state population;
- The number of entities accessing the Registry by fiscal year; and
- An appendix on registration and complaint figures by state and area code.
According to the Data Book, at the end of FY 2013, the Do Not Call Registry contained 223,429,112 actively registered phone numbers, up from 217,568,284 at the end of FY 2012. In addition, the number of consumer complaints about unwanted telemarketing calls received decreased from 3,840,569 during FY 2012 to 3,748,655 during FY 2013.
This year’s Data Book also reveals trends in complaint data. In addition to providing information on the total number of consumer complaints per month, it also contains data on the number of monthly complaints specifically related to pre-recorded telemarketing “robocalls,” and requests for a telemarketer to stop calling.
During the past year, the FTC has continued to receive large numbers of consumer complaints about robocalls. At the beginning of the fiscal year, in October 2012, the FTC received 234,871 robocall-related complaints. This number varied by month, ranging between a low of 146,845 complaints in June 2013 and a high of 234,871 in October 2012.
Most telemarketing robocalls have been illegal since September 2009. As part of its effort to stop deceptive, misleading, and otherwise unlawful robocalls, the FTC will take action against entities violating the agency’s Telemarketing Sales Rule.
The FTC Robocall Summit and Robocall Challenge
The FTC hosted a summit on October 18, 2012, in Washington, DC, to examine the issues surrounding the robocall problem. Open to the public, the summit included members of law enforcement, the telemarketing and telecommunications industry, consumer groups, and other stakeholders. It focused on exploring innovations that could potentially be used to trace robocalls, prevent wrongdoers from faking caller ID data, and stop illegal calls.
The FTC also held a Robocall Challenge, announced at the summit, which led to several awards for proposed products and/or technologies designed to stop consumers from receiving unwanted robocalls. Finally, the Commission announced an enforcement sweep in November 2012, cracking down on illegal “Rachel” robocallers and those from “Card Services.”
Information for Consumers
Information for consumers about the Do Not Call Registry, company-specific do not call requests, and telemarketer Caller ID requirements can be found the FTC’s website, and consumers can sign up for the National Registry for free. Other information about robocalls and what consumers can do about them also is available.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a Do Not Call complaint in English or Spanish, visit the National Do Not Call Registry online or call 1-888-382-1222. The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.
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