Rumors on deadline circulating on Internet

Rumors on deadline circulating on Internet

In-boxes are once again being filled with e-mails warning consumers about a dire threat.

If you don't register your cellphone numbers with the Do-Not-Call Registry as soon as possible, starting today the telemarketers will come a-calling.

Not true.

The truth is, there is no deadline for registering a land line or cellphone number on the government registry, which took effect in the fall of 2003.

The latest e-mail appears to be related to other myths circulating the Internet in early 2005, when there was talk that if consumers did not register their numbers, telemarketers would be able to get their phone numbers by accessing a wireless directory.

There has been discussion of creating a phone directory of wireless telephone numbers. But it is still in the discussion phase and a consumer would have to opt in to have his or her phone number included, industry groups have said.

Bogus e-mails have also claimed there are separate Do-Not-Call registries for land line and cellphone numbers. That's also not true.

To list a wireless or landline phone number on the National Do-Not-Call Registry, visit www.donotcall.gov or call (888) 382-1222. If you register by phone you must call from the phone number you want listed on the registry.

If registering online, you will need to provide a valid e-mail address. A confirmation of the registration will be sent to the e-mail account. Registration won't be complete until you click on the link in the e-mail.

Registrations become effective within 31 days of signing up and are active for five years. There is no cut-off date or deadline for registrations.

Once a number is on the list, telemarketers are not allowed to call. However, there are exceptions: nonprofit organizations are allowed to call, as are groups conducting surveys and companies with which you already do business.

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