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What is and isn't covered by the National Do Not Call Registry

Placing your number on the Do Not Call Registry will stop most telemarketing calls, but not all.

Only telemarketing calls (calls that solicit sales of goods or services) are covered by the National Do Not Call Registry. Telemarketers calling people in the United States are covered regardless of where they are calling from. If a company within the U.S. solicits sales through an overseas telemarketing service, that U.S. company may be liable for any violations by the telemarketer. The FTC can initiate enforcement actions against such companies.

Political phone calls are not covered by the National Do Not Call Registry since they are not included in its definition of "telemarketing." Charities are also not covered by the registry. However, if a third-party telemarketer is calling on behalf of a charity, you may ask not to receive any more calls from, or on behalf of, that charity. If a third-party telemarketer calls again on behalf of that charity, the telemarketer may be subject to a fine of up to $11,000.

Telephone surveys, if made for the sole purpose of conducting a survey, are not covered by the registry. Callers claiming to offer a survey, but who also sell goods or services, must comply with the National Do Not Call Registry.

If you are on the National Do Not Call Registry, you can still receive calls from companies that you have an existing business relationship with or that you have previously agreed to receive calls from.

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