Droves of Ohioans who do not want calls from telemarketers have registered their phone numbers with the Do Not Call Registry, according to data released recently from the Federal Trade Commission.
But the FTC has seen a nearly 40 percent increase in complaints from across the state about telemarketers breaking the do not call rules, the data show.
The Do Not Call list is effective because most legitimate companies respect it, said Eve Mueller, deputy director of communications with the office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
“Of course, scammers do not pay attention to the list,” she said. “The fact that scammers do not – and will call anyone – actually serves as a great warning to consumers that if they’re on the Do Not Call list and getting a call, it may very likely be a scam.”
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As of Sept. 30, there were 9,085,945 Ohio phone numbers registered on the national Do Not Call list. Registrations were up nearly 2 percent from 2016.
In late 2016, there were nearly 1.1 million phone numbers on the registry with 937 area codes, which covers most of the Dayton region and other sections of southwest Ohio.
Sellers and telemarketers are required to remove phone numbers that are put on the registry from their call lists.
But the registry prohibits sales calls only. That means people whose numbers are on the list may still get calls about political races and elections, charities, debt collection, telephone surveys and other information, according to the FTC.
Also, some people like scammers do not obey the rules and call numbers on the registry anyway.
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Since 2009, the FTC has seen a significant increase in illegal sales calls, particularly robocalls, the organization said.
In Ohio the number of complaints about Do Not Call Registry violations grew by 77,465 to 276,667 in fiscal year 2017, the data show.
Consumers are encouraged to report violations of Do Not Call rules to the FTC. The commission says it has sued hundreds of companies and people for violating the law by making unwanted calls.
Consumers can register their phone numbers on the Registry either by calling the toll-free number 1-888-382-1222 from the telephone numbers they wish to register or by visiting https://www.donotcall.gov.
The FTC says consumers should hang up on illegal sales calls immediately. The organization says consumers should not press any buttons to try to avoid follow up unwanted calls. Consumers are encouraged to report illegal robocalls to the FTC.