We've all received them, the dreaded telemarketing calls. The good news is, you can actually stop most of these companies from calling you. There are, however, a few things you need to know before adding your number to the National Do Not Call Registry. First of all, it could take up to 31 days after registering for sales calls to stop.

Next, you'll need to know what the Registry doesn't do.

The registry does not stop all unwanted calls. It only stops sales calls from real companies, and cannot stop calls from scammers, as they do not abide by the registry. You can, however, look into blocking unwanted and scam calls using call-blocking options on your phone or by using a third party app. You can read more about blocking unwanted calls here and can find some call-blocking apps here.

The registry does not stop calls from companies you have recently done business with, or if you've given them written permission to call. You can ask these companies not to call you, but be sure to note the date you asked them to stop, as they have to stop the calls if you request it.

The registry does not stop the following types of calls:

  • Political calls

  • Charitable calls

  • Debt collection calls

  • Purely informational calls

  • Surveys


Robocalls are allowed only if you have given written permission for the company to call you (for instance, a company you've done business with confirming a service appointment or a purely informational call). If you receive an illegal robocall, hang up immediately and do not press any buttons to be taken off a call list or to talk to a live person. Pressing any of the options may lead to more unwanted calls. What you should do is report the call to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at donotcall.gov.

Reporting Unwanted Calls/Companies Performing Illegal Calls:

You can report these kinds of calls at donotcall.gov, but you will need to make sure you have the number that appears on your caller ID (even if it seems like a fake number) and any number you are told to call back. If a company illegally calls numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry or places an illegal robocall they can be fined up to $42,530 per call.

If the number on your caller ID was a fake number, you should still report it, as the FTC and other law enforcement agencies can still trace the call with the information you provide during reporting. 

How to register your number:

Visit donotcall.gov

Click Register Your Phone

Click the Register Here button (if you think you have previously registered or are not sure, click the Verify Here button)

On the next page, enter your phone number(s) and email address then click Submit

The next page will ask you to verify your information before submitting. If the information is correct, click Register.

You should receive an email regarding your submission in which includes a link to confirm your submission. You will need to click the link in the email within 72 hours after receipt of the link otherwise your submission will not be successful. 

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