An unfounded e-mail circulating the Internet has millions of Americans frantically trying to add their cell phones to the Do Not Call List to avoid telemarketing calls. The bogus e-mail warns recipients that telemarketers will have new rights to call cellular customers beginning January 1, 2005. Recently there has been a large number of people registering with the Federal Do Not Call List, many as a result of the warning, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The rumor likely started due to a new project called the Wireless 411 Service, which has been proposed by several major wireless phone carriers. The service, expected to be available next fall, will let people look up cellular phone numbers in a similar way they look up numbers using the nationwide 411 directory service. But unlike the directory for home and business numbers, people must ask their wireless phone carrier to be included in the cellular directory. Telemarketers must still use the Do Not Call List to avoid calling consumers that have subscribed.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services maintains the state's "Do Not Call" list. Florida residents who do not wish to receive sales calls may have their residential, mobile or paging device telephone number included on this list, free of charge. Business numbers may not be included on the list.
Formerly Qsent (acquired by TransUnion) has provided this information to disseminate fact from fiction concerning the new Wireless 411 Service:
The Wireless 411 Service that will be enabled by Qsent is a first of its kind for the US. Unlike traditional landline directory assistance, the Wireless 411 Service has stringent privacy policies:
The right to choose. Consumers have to ask to be included. No one's mobile number will be included in the service unless they have requested it.
The right to change one's mind. Consumers can change their mind at any time and ask to have their information omitted.
The right to security. Information will be safeguarded. Consumer data residing in the Wireless 411 Service privacy-protected database will not be listed or shared online or in any kind of public directory. A caller inquiring about a number will be given that information, but will not be able to access a directory for browsing. Likewise, telemarketers will have no access to this data.
The right to exercise these fundamental choices at no charge. The choice to opt-in or opt-out will be free of charge. Qsent will not charge carriers for storage of listings, additions or deletions, nor will participating carriers.
The privacy controls for the Wireless 411 Service are much stricter than those used by traditional landline directory assistance and especially by web-based phone books.
The links below are for your information only. The goal of the Division of Consumer Services is to provide information to consumers and additional web sites that will better inform you. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services does not review or confirm these sites for accuracy.
E-mail Hoax Sparks a "Do Not Call List" Stampede (12/14/2004) A hoax e-mail circulating the Internet has millions of Americans scurrying to add their cell phones to a national Do Not Call list to avoid telemarketers. Learn more...
"Do Not Call" List for Cell Phone Users Netlore Archive: Email flier warns that a directory of cell phone numbers will soon be published and urges users to enter their cell phone numbers on a federal 'do not call' list to prevent unsolicited calls from telemarketers. Learn more...
National Do Not Call List Fraud Have you received a call from a company inviting you to preregister for the national "Do Not Call" list? What about a call asking to confirm your registration on a "Do Not Call" registry? If so, you may be the target of a scam, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the federal agency that is creating the national "Do Not Call" registry.