Today, the Federal Trade Commission released the National Do Not Call Registry Data Book for Fiscal Year 2021. The FTC’s National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry lets consumers add their phone number and choose not to receive most legal telemarketing calls. In the last fiscal year, nearly three million people signed up with the DNC Registry, bringing the total close to 245 million phone numbers.
Now in its thirteenth year of publication, the Data Book also provides the most recent fiscal year information available on robocall complaints, the types of calls consumers reported to the FTC, and a complete state-by-state analysis. According to the Data Book, complaints about imposter calls again topped the list, with almost 594,000 received during the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2021, including both live calls and robocalls. In such calls, imposters falsely pose as government representatives, such as the Social Security Administration or the IRS, legitimate business entities, or as people affiliated with them.
FY 2021 Registration and Complaint Data
According to the Data Book, at the end of FY 2021, the DNC Registry contained 244.3 million actively registered phone numbers, up from 241.5 million at the end of FY 2020. The number of consumer complaints about unwanted telemarketing calls increased, from nearly four million in FY 2020 to over five million in FY 2021. Of those complaints, 68 percent concerned robocalls and 22 percent were about live telemarketing.
In FY 2021, the Commission received 3.4 million complaints about robocalls, up from 2.8 million in FY 2020. The FY 2021 total is in line with previous years, following FY 2020’s significant decline. For every month in the fiscal year, robocalls—defined under FTC regulations as calls delivering a prerecorded message—made up the majority of consumer complaints about DNC violations, with the most -- 347,000 -- coming in March of this year.
FY 2021 Data Highlights
Again this year, imposters were the topic of the robocalls consumers reported the most, with more than 496,000 complaints received. Warranties and protection plans comprised the second-most commonly reported topic, with consumers filing more than 412,000 robocall complaints. Calls about supposed debt-reduction made up the third-most commonly reported topic, followed by complaints about medical and prescription issues, and computers and technical support.
Registration and Complaint Data by State
With respect to state data, New Hampshire continues to top the nation in active DNC registrations per capita (94,642). The states reporting the most complaints per 100,000 population changed in FY 2021: the top five states were Maryland (2,028 per 100K population), Delaware (1,982 per 100K population), Arizona (1,945 per 100K population), Colorado (1,943 per 100K population), and Virginia (1,939 per 100K population).
Underlying Data Availability
The underlying data in the report is publicly available at: https://www.ftc.gov/reports/national-do-not-call-registry-data-book-fiscal-year-2021.
Information for Consumers
Information for consumers about the DNC Registry, company-specific DNC requests, and telemarketer caller ID requirements can be found on the FTC’s website, and consumers can sign up for the DNC Registry for free. Other information about robocalls and what consumers can do about them is also available. To report unwanted telemarketing calls, consumers can file a complaint at www.donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.
The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition and protect and educate consumers. Learn more about consumer topics at consumer.ftc.gov, or report fraud, scams, and bad business practices at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Follow the FTC on social media, read consumer alerts and the business blog, and sign up to get the latest FTC news and alerts.