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About the FTC and Consumer Protection

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish (bilingual counselors are available to take complaints), or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the FTC Complaint Form.

The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Telemarketers Required to “Scrub” Their Call Lists Every 31 Days Beginning January 1, 2005

Beginning January 1, 2005, the Federal Trade Commission’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) will require telemarketers to access the National Do Not Call Registry and purge newly-registered numbers from their call lists every 31 days. The TSR currently requires telemarketers to “scrub” their lists quarterly; the FTC amended the Rule to reflect this change in March 2004.

Monthly updates for telemarketers will be available at https://telemarketing.donotcall.gov at no cost. Telemarketers are required annually to renew their subscriptions to the National Do Not Call Registry at a fee of $40 per area code, with a maximum fee of $11,000 for any entity accessing 280 area codes or more. Entities may access the first five area codes of data for free. The Do Not Call Web site for telemarketers will inform them when their subscription account numbers (SANs) expire and give them renewal instructions.

To date, consumers have registered approximately 81 million telephone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry (NDNCR). Consumers may register home and cell phone numbers by visiting www.donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222 from the telephone number they wish to register. Despite rumors to the contrary, there is no deadline for registering with the NDNCR.

For the full list of FTC news releases, please visit www.ftc.gov/opa/.

Other pages of interest on this topic:

Our Privacy Statement
About Identity Theft
About "Phishing"
About Credit Reports