The Federal Trade Commission today issued the National Do Not Call Registry Data Book for Fiscal Year 2014. The FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry lets consumers choose not to receive telemarketing calls. Now in its sixth year of publication, the Data Book contains a wealth of information about the Registry for FY 2014 (from October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014), including:
- The number of active registrations and consumer complaints since the Registry began in 2003;
- FY 2014 complaint figures by month and type;
- FY 2014 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 consumer state and area code.
According to the Data Book, at the end of FY 2014, the Do Not Call Registry contained 217,855,659 actively registered phone numbers, up from 213,400,640 at the end of FY 2013. In addition, the number of consumer complaints about unwanted telemarketing calls received decreased from 3,748,646 during FY 2013 to 3,241,086 during FY 2014.
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 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 fiscal year, the FTC has continued to receive large numbers of consumer complaints about robocalls. The number of complaints varied by month, ranging between a low in October of 85,167 and a high of 184,876 in August 2014.
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 that are violating the agency’s Telemarketing Sales Rule.
As part of the FTC’s ongoing efforts to stop illegal robocalls, the agency hosted its second public challenge in August 2014, Zapping Rachel. The contest challenged participants at DEF CON 22 to design a robocall honeypot, which is an information system designed to attract robocallers, and help law enforcement authorities, researchers, and others gain enhanced insights into robocallers’ tactics. The winning solutions included open-source code and are designed to assist in the battle against robocallers.
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 on 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 complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). 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.
Mitchell J. Katz,
Office of Public Affairs
Bureau of Consumer Protection