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Security & privacy

Here’s what adding your number to the National Do Not Call Registry does

Most people don’t even reach for their phone when caller ID doesn’t identify the caller. When it says unknown caller or private, there is a good chance it’s a robocall or a telemarketer. Tap or click here to see the top five scam calls and what you can do to get them to finally stop.

One of the best ways to combat these unsolicited calls is to add your number to the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry. Doing so denies marketing companies the opportunity to call you with sales pitches. 

It was first rolled out in 2003 and currently contains over 240 million phone numbers. Read on to see what happens when you add your number and why you must do so.

Here’s the backstory

Some believe that adding your number to the DNC registry doesn’t do much, but the proof of its effectiveness is in the statistics. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released its annual National Do Not Call Registry Data Book, which includes some startling facts.

This year, 20 million numbers were added to the registry, with 11,000 organizations using the list for call blocking. However, it seems that robocalls are still a widespread problem across the country. 

FTC report explains that robocalls, defined as calls delivering a prerecorded message, made up most of the consumer complaints this year. January saw the most filed complaints, with over 200,000.

Here are some statistics from the 2022 report:

  • FTC received 1.8 million complaints about robocalls and almost 900,000 complaints about live callers.
  • Imposter robocalls accounted for 210,000 complaints, while live imposter calls attracted 77,000 complaints.
  • Robocalls about warranties and insurance almost topped 180,000 complaints.
  • New Hampshire has the highest registration rate of 95,648 numbers per 100,000 people.
  • Alaska has the lowest registration rate of just over 50,000 numbers per 100,000 people. It also has the lowest number of active registrations, almost 400,000 numbers. 
  • California tops the list of active registrations with over 27 million on the system.

What you can do about it

It’s a relatively straightforward process to add your mobile phone number to the Do Not Call Registry. You can register multiple phone numbers online at donotcall.gov or call the toll‐free number 888‐382‐1222 from the telephone number you wish to register.

Do you receive a lot of scam calls or robocalls? It might be down to where you live. The states reporting the most complaints per 100,000 population were:

  • Delaware (1,537 per 100K population).
  • Ohio (1,246 per 100K population).
  • Arizona (1,206 per 100K population).
  • Maryland (1,180 per 100K population).
  • Virginia (1,144 per 100K population).

The FTC also explains that it’s looking into combatting robocalls as technology improves. So if you hate annoying robocalls, it’s time to put your number on the registry.

Plus, the FTC continues to track how technology impacts the registry and consumers and telemarketers who access it. Advancements in technology have increased the number of illegal telemarketing calls made to telephone numbers on the registry, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology.

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