Robocalls target consumers as millions add phone numbers to national do not call list

WASHINGTON, D.C.. — Nearly 250 million Americans have placed their phone numbers on the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry, but a new report is revealing many illegal sales callers are using advancements in technology to call people anyway.

A new report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said it received more than five million Do Not Call complaints last year, “with people overwhelmingly reporting these violations came via robocalls, as opposed to live telemarketing.”

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Robocalls trying to sell something are illegal unless the company calling got written permission directly from you first.

The FTC said in the first three quarters of FY 2021, it received an average of more than 300,000 robocall complaints a month.


“Advancements in technology have increased the number of illegal telemarketing calls made to telephone numbers on the Registry,” the report said.

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The report also says advancements in technology have made it harder for law enforcement to track down the violators.

“Technological developments also allow illegal telemarketers to easily fake, or ‘spoof,’ the caller ID information that accompanies their calls, which allows them to conceal their identity from consumers and law enforcement,” the report said. “Many telemarketers use automated dialing technology to make calls that deliver prerecorded messages … which allow violators to make very high volumes of illegal calls without significant expense.”

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The FTC said 2.8 million new numbers were added to the DNC Registry in 2021.

It is free to sign up for the DNC Registry and you can add your number by signing up here.

While the majority of robocalls are illegal without permission, the FTC said there are some exceptions.

Robocalls about candidates running for office or charities asking for donations are still legal without permission.

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