The National Do Not Call List just turned 10! Working hard to protect consumers from illegal telemarketing for the past decade, the Do Not Call Registry got to celebrate its big birthday with a record-setting $7.5 million settlement.
On the day of the Registry’s 10th anniversary, the FTC demanded a huge fine from a mortgage broker called Mortgage Investor’s Corporation. Apparently the company had been violating the provisions of the Do Not Call Registry, as well as the rules of the TSR, or Telemarketing Sales Rule.
The resulting settlement is a record victory for the FTC, the Do Not Call List and consumers everywhere who hate getting those annoying phone calls at dinner time!
Happy 10th Birthday, Do Not Call List!
The FTC’s recent settlement is a huge victory, proving that the National Do Not Call Registry has been a successful tool to help consumers fight fraudulent telemarketing.
Mortgage Investor’s Corporation, the company at the center of the settlement, is accused of multiple DNC violations. They had allegedly called people on the Do Not Call List, failed to take people off their call list when consumers asked to be removed, and misrepresented the terms of their products during calls.
The settlement is great news for consumers because it illustrates that the FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry is actually working. As one high-ranking official puts it:
‘We created the National Do Not Call List to put consumers in charge and reduce unwanted and intrusive calls from telemarketers,’ said Timothy J. Murris, the former FTC Chairman who spearheaded the initiative. ‘Ten years later, with 221 million American consumers registered, it is one of the agency’s most recognized consumer protection achievements.’“
Ten Years of Consumer Protection
These days, telemarketing and so-called “robocalls” are tactics often employed by fraudulent organizations and phone scammers.
In fact, telemarketing fraud is so prevalent that the National DNC Registry has picked up over 200 million numbers since its creation ten years ago. 10 million of those numbers were registered within the first four days alone!
Telemarketers obviously weren’t happy when the National DNC Registry was initiated, but the courts said it was perfectly fine in 2004.
Since then, the DNC list has resulted in consumer protections and legal including a $5.3 million settlement from DirecTV.
In 2012, the National DNC Registry also helped shut down five different companies that were guilty of robocalling consumers.
In April of the very next year, the FTC and the DNC Registry had a contest to crowdsource the best way to block robocalling companies. The winner made off with a cool $50,000. Read about the FTC’s Robocall Challenge here.
Working to Keep Your Dinner Uninterrupted
What’s worse than a telemarketing call? Phone fraud. Or phone fraud disguised as a telemarketing call. If you think you might have been the victim of phone-based fraud, it’s easy to get in touch with the FTC and find out what your options are.
To add your number to the National DNC Registry — which, it’s worth noting, has been called “the most popular federal concept since the Elvis stamp” — visit DoNotCall.gov and add your number to the list. It’s completely free, and your registration will never expire or need renewing.
Do you have any good tips for helping dodge annoying telemarketers? Let us know in the comments.