The National Do Not Call Registry provides consumers with an easy way to block most telemarketing sales calls, and few government programs have been so popular. Since it was launched in the summer of 2003, the Do Not Call Registry has grown to contain over 217 million phone numbers.
In just its first 6 months of operation, the Do Not Call Registry collected over 50 million phone numbers and has just kept on growing, reaching 217,568,135 phone numbers as of Sept. 30, 2012, according to the Do Not Call Registry Data Book FY 2012 from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
In fact, the Do Not Call Registry grew by 7,845,211 phone numbers between Oct. 1, 2011 and Sept. 30, 2012 alone.
Also increasing from over the past year was the number of complaints the FTC received from consumers regarding automated, prerecorded telemarketing "robocalls."
Though declared illegal in 2009, telemarketing robocalls resulted in 201,699 complaints to the FTC in September 2012, up from 149,363 in October 2011. Despite the increase in robocalls complaints, the FTC says it still committed to "stopping deceptive, misleading, and otherwise unlawful robocalls, and will take action against entities violating the agency's Telemarketing Sales Rule."
The FTC will take a close look at the robocall problem at a public summit on October 18, 2012, in Washington, DC. The forum seek ideas from members of law enforcement, the telemarketing and telecommunications industry and consumer groups on new ways to trace robocalls, prevent scammers from faking caller ID data, and stop illegal calls.