Will cellphone numbers be released to telemarketers at the end of this month?


Nope, it's a recycled scare tactic.


2003-2004 Congressional Report

Wireless 411 Privacy Act Report 2004

National Do Not Call Registry

Janice Kopec- Attorney at Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection


A post shared nearly 500,000 shares is circulating the web claiming your phones about to be blown up by telemarketers calling.

Here's what the post says:

Remember Cell Phone Numbers Go Public This Month. All cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sales calls. ...You will be charged for these calls. To prevent this, call the following number from you cell phone: 888-382-1222. It is the National DO NOT CALL list. It will only take a minute of your time. It blocks your number for five (5) years. You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked. You cannot call from a different phone number. HELP OTHERS BY PASSING THIS ON. It takes about 20 seconds.

First, out team traced the first hints of this idea all the way back to 2004.

That's when cell phone companies were considering a 411 directory of cell phones, but that idea got scrapped shortly after Congress introduced a bill to make it illegal to add a cell number to that list without consent.

Both the bill and the directory were abandoned, so we never had to deal with that headache.

Just to make sure nothing changed, we checked with the Federal Trade Commission, the group who runs the National Do Not Call list.

They say there's no plan to release all cell phone numbers, and if you're registered with the list, it doesn't expire every five years like that post claims.

There is a scrap of truth to the post - that 888 number will call the Do Not Call registry, and they told us back in November, that move is still your best defense against unwanted calls.

"That means that telemarketers are no longer supposed to call them to place a telemarketing call--It's not optional," Janice Kopec, attorney at the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection said. "Telemarketers then are required to download the registry and remove all of those phone numbers that consumers have given saying don't call me."

This viral post is verified false.


Help our journalists VERIFY the news. Do you know someone else we should interview for this story? Did we miss anything in our reporting? Is there another story you'd like us to VERIFY? Click here.