Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cell Phones, Telemarketers, and the Annual 'Do Not Call List' Hoax

Every year around this time, chain e-mails proliferate warning that you need to rush to have your cell-phone number registered on the "National Do-Not-Call Registry," because all U.S. cell-phone numbers and the names of their holders are about to be released to telemarketers.

Who wants to be trying to get some calls in, while waiting at some airport, and be interrupted by telemarketing intruders?

Well, the dire warnings are not true. It's an annual hoax, as noted here by the invaluable rumor-chasing and urban-myth-chasing Web site

No such lists of names and cell-phone numbers are being released to telemarketing operations. So there's no big issue.

On the other hand, it's not a bad idea in general to register your cell-phone number (or any other phone number, if you haven't already done so) on the do-not-call list. That is, unless you actually like to get telemarketing calls.

It takes about 40 seconds. The phone number for the Federal Trade Commission's "National Do-Not-Call Registry" is 888-382-1222. You have to call from the number you want to list on the register.

Or you can do it online, and get more information, at the registry Web site.


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