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3 things you need to know about the Do Not Call registry

The first phone call in history happened on March 10, 1876, when Alexander Graham Bell rang up his assistant.

"Mr. Watson - come here - I want to see you," he said.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the second call in history took place later than evening, when a telemarketer rang up asking if a Mr. Dell lived at the residence and if he might want to buy some genuine snake oil.

It seems like telemarketing and phones have gone together forever.

That's why I'm always surprised the National Do Not Call Registry didn't come into being until 2004. Since then, it's had a rocky history, and many people still aren't quite sure how it works.

Even after a decade, you'll see myths online about what is and isn't blocked, whether or not cellphones are allowed, rumors that that the FTC is about to release your number unless you act right away, etc.

So I'm going to set the record straight and clear up the confusion.

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