Mobile Phones Getting Spammed?
Recently I received one of those suspicious email that says, “Help others by passing this on.” And just what was I to pass on? The email claimed that, “In just 4 days from today all U. S. cell phone numbers will be released to telemarketing companies and you will begin to receive sales calls.”
Partly because it came to me via a distant friend of a friend, and partly because of its spammy terminology, I was suspicious. Normal email doesn’t prompt you to make a viral mess by saying “pass this on!!” So I checked it out and discovered… (surprise) that the email was not true. Not only that, but… Snopes.com informed me that this email has been circulating since 2004, the year after the CAN SPAM act was passed (2003), and continues to resurface frequently.
The Spam email warned:
The Spam email warned:
- Cell Phone Numbers Go Public “this month” or “in just 4 days.”
- You will receive unwanted telemarketing calls
- You will be charged for these calls.
What is the truth?
Best to go to the source – the Federal Communications Commission – where the very helpful article, “Wireless Phones and the National Do-Not-Call List,” is found.
- They explain that placing telemarketing calls to wireless phones is – and always has been – illegal in most cases.
- However, recently the wireless phone industry has been considering a wireless 411 directory – an information service for wireless, or cellular, phones. The concern was that such a directory would be available to telemarketers who would be quick to make use of the information.
- There is also the mistaken idea that there is a separate do-not-call “cell phone registry” to cover your mobile phone number.
- The law says that it is illegal to use any automatic telephone dialing system or any artificial or prerecorded voice message system to wireless numbers. This law applies whether or not your cell number is listed on the national Do-Not-Call list.
- While there used to be a need to re-register after a period of time, “there is no deadline for registering a number on the national Do-Not-Call list. There is also no longer any need to re-register a number – it will stay on the national Do-Not-Call list until you cancel your registration or discontinue service.”
- The article concludes with phone numbers, FCC address and explanation of how to register an official complaint.
The FCC’s comment about a recent push to create a separate wireless 411 (information) directory service is reinforced in a Wikipedia article on 4-1-1, where they tell us that this service would be based on consumer choice and would be privacy protected. Carriers promoting are identified as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile.
Do Your Home Work
Checking the fake message out only took a minute or two and I reaped the dividend of much useful information. Yes. It takes valuable time. Which is why Reliable Tech News has provided this as a service to you!
Another source of information is the Reliable Tech News article, Those Unwanted Phone Calls, in our June 2015 issue. In this article there is a helpful discussion of phone apps which can be used to manage the annoyance.