March 4, 2021
by Jacob van Cleef, Consumer Watchdog Associate
Illegal robocalls and unwanted telemarketing calls can be annoying. If you want these calls to stop, you can take steps that could lead to consequences for offenders, including possible fines.
You can register your phone number on the national Do Not Call Registry operated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on its website. Once you’re registered, companies should be aware of your request within 31 days. That should stop all telemarketing and sales calls from reputable businesses. But as we know, unreputable businesses don’t care about breaking the law by disregarding the Do Not Call list. If you receive telemarketing calls after that 31-day mark, you should report the unwanted calls to the FTC. Remember that political calls and calls asking for donations are exempt from the regulations of the Do Not Call Registry.
Fraudulent calls can be reported whether you are registered or not because fraud is illegal.
If your number is on the Do Not Call Registry, the first place you should go to report a violation is the FTC complaint page. Complaints can also be sent to the state government where you live. Fraudulent calls should be reported to the attorney general or a government agency. Below is a list of websites for filing complaints for unwanted calls and any phone numbers or emails that you can use to file a complaint in every state and Washington D.C.