Register with the National Do Not Call Registry
The National Do Not Call Registry lets you limit the telemarketing calls you receive. Stop unwanted sales calls by registering your phone number:
If you register online, you will receive an email to complete your request. You must click on the link in that email within 72 hours in order for your registration to take effect. Visit DoNotCall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222 to verify the status of, or unsubscribe, your phone number on the registry.
Placing your phone number on this national registry will stop telemarketing sales calls. But you might still receive calls from scammers and robocallers. Some telemarketing calls are still permitted. You may still receive phone calls from:
- Political organizations
- Telephone surveyors
- Some organizations with which you have a relationship
Some states have their own Do Not Call registries. Contact your state consumer protection office to find out if your state has its own Do Not Call list and how you can add yourself to it.
File a Complaint
You may file a complaint if your phone number has been on the national registry for 31 days. File a complaint online or at 1-888-382-1222. Include the date of the illegal call, phone number, and the company's name in your complaint. You can also file a complaint about recorded messages or robocalls.
Visit the telemarketer website if you want to subscribe to the Do Not Call Registry. Representatives of telemarketing companies can also get information on compliance issues on the website.
You can take several actions to stop the delivery of unwanted mail in your mailbox.
- Tell companies you do business with to remove your name from customer lists they rent or sell to other companies. Find out how to opt-out of marketing lists on sales materials, order forms, emails, and websites.
- Sign up for the Data & Marketing Association's mail preference service. This will remove your name from most national telemarketing, mail, and email lists. Register online for $2 or by sending the registration form and $3 fee through postal mail.
- The Consumer Credit Reporting Industry has an Opt-Out Program. Register with this program to stop receiving credit card and insurance offers. All major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and TransUnion) take part in this program. Register online or call 1-888-567-8688 to opt-out for five years. You must register online if you want to opt-out out of these offers permanently.
- Complete and file a PS Form 1500 at the Post Office to stop receiving sexually oriented advertising in your mail.
If you've already opted out for credit or insurance offers, and would like to begin receiving them again, you must complete a request to opt-in.
Remember, opting-out will not end all mail solicitations. You may still receive mail from:
- Local merchants
- Religious and charitable organizations
- Professional and alumni associations
- Companies with which you do business
Telephone scammers try to steal your money or personal information. Scams may come through phone calls from real people, robocalls, or text messages. Callers often make false promises, such as opportunities to buy products, invest your money, or receive free product trials. They may also offer you money through free grants and lotteries. Some scammers may call with threats of jail or lawsuits if you don’t pay them.
Report Telephone Scams
It's important to report phone scams to federal agencies. They can’t investigate individual cases. But your report can help them collect evidence for lawsuits against scammers.
For more help in resolving consumer issues, you can report scams to your state consumer protection office.
Protect Yourself From Telephone Scams
Remember these tips to avoid being a victim of a telephone scam:
Don’t give in to pressure to take immediate action.
Don’t say anything if a caller starts the call asking, “Can you hear me?” This is a common tactic for scammers to record you saying “yes.” Scammers record your “yes” response and use it as proof that you agreed to a purchase or credit card charge.
Don’t provide your credit card number, bank account information, or other personal information to a caller.
Don’t send money if a caller tells you to wire money or pay with a prepaid debit card.
Do you have a question?
Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They'll get you the answer or let you know where to find it.
December 8, 2020