Thursday, August 6, 2009

Debunking Another Urban Legend: Cell Phone Numbers Will NOT Be Going Public, Although You Can Still Register Your Number As A "Do Not Call" Number

On August 6th, 2009, somebody posted the following message, received via e-mail, on Stormfront:

REMEMBER: Cell Phone Numbers Go Public next month.

REMINDER.... all cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sales calls.

...... YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS
Even if the message is saved on your phone, you will be charged for the minutes to listen to it.

To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888-382-1222.
It is the National DO NOT CALL list. It will only take a minute of your time . It blocks your number for five (5) years.

You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked.

You cannot call from a different phone number.

HELP OTHERS BY PASSING THIS ON TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS.. It takes about 20 seconds.


My suspicions about the veracity of the message were aroused by the instruction to "call only from the cell phone number you want blocked". There's absolutely no logical reason why you couldn't call from a different phone.

And sure enough, research indicates this is an urban legend. A mainstream media outlet, WAVE Channel 3, reported on June 25th, 2009 that cell phone numbers are not scheduled to go into public listings anytime in the near future. However, if you are concerned about telemarketers contacting you on your cell phone, they say you can still register your phone number with the Federal Trade Commission's Do Not Call List by clicking on the highlighted link or calling 1-888-382-1222. Once you register your number with the FTC, it will never expire and you can file a complaint against a telemarketing company that calls you after your phone number has been registered for 31 days.

Snopes also confirms this is an urban legend, and that the bogus chain e-mail has been circulating since 2004.

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