The federal Do-Not-Call List allows you to add your name and home and cell phone numbers to a federal list that telemarketers are legally obliged not to contact. The Federal Trade Commission estimates being on the list will cut down on about 80 percent of unwanted solicitations. Marketers are supposed to check the list every three months, and those who call people who have been listed can be fined up to $11,000 for each violation. A consumer who has placed his or her numbers on the list and still receives calls can file complaints online or through an automated phone system. (Charities, pollsters and -- surprise, surprise -- politicians are exempt from the list.) Other exceptions: A merchant can call someone on the list if the person has bought, leased or rented from the merchant within the previous 18 months. It also can call if a person has inquired about or applied for something from the merchant during the previous three months. Once your register, you will notice a drop in telemarketing calls about three months later. The World Privacy Forum offers another great resource that lists the registry and nine other programs that allow you to opt-out of receiving material.
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