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‘Do Not Call’ lists aren’t working: Can spam calls or texts be blocked?

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Despite registering on the national Do Not Call Registry, many continue to receive spam calls and texts, leaving people wondering about the effectiveness of the 221 million-strong list maintained by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The registry, designed to protect individuals from unsolicited telemarketing, does not encompass all types of calls, allowing political campaigns, charities, debt collections, and survey-related calls to proceed as exceptions.

Telemarketers can also legally contact individuals who have had recent business dealings with their company. However, the real challenge lies with illegitimate callers who disregard the rules. Alex Quilici, CEO of call blocking service YouMail, compares it to a “no trespassing” sign that deters only the law-abiding, leaving scammers undeterred by potential fines which can exceed $50,000 per call for legitimate companies violating Do Not Call regulations.

The FTC suggests that individuals looking to further reduce unwanted communications explore call-screening apps, acknowledging the registry’s limitations. This advice comes amidst reports of scammers targeting those on the Do Not Call list, exploiting the registry to identify potential victims more likely to respond, revealing a critical flaw in the system designed to protect consumer privacy.

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