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Q: Why am I getting sales calls when I am on the Attorney General’s Do Not Call list?

A: “The National Do Not Call Registry is a federal law enforced by the Federal Trade Commission,” said Idaho Consumer Protection Division Chief Brett DeLange. “The law itself is a privacy law. Law-abiding telemarketers heed the list and do not call, and records show the number of unwanted calls selling products has dropped.”

“The number of unsolicited calls, though, has increased,” DeLange said. “The increase has come as more and more fraudulent calls originate overseas, making it more difficult to identify perpetrators and apply the law to them in the Idaho court system.”

“Idahoans should also understand that the ‘Do Not Call’ law and registry only apply to those calling to sell products or services. The law does not apply to calls conducting a survey, seeking a charitable donation, or advocating for a political position,” DeLange said.

“Simply don’t answer calls that show just a phone number and not a name from your contact list,” he said. “Many unwanted solicitations from overseas will attempt to spoof you and make you think the call is originating locally, with an Idaho area code, when the call is actually originating elsewhere. If a call is legitimate, the caller can leave a message for you to respond to later. Many mobile phones are now equipped with technology that allows the user to block numbers. Once you know a number is bogus, you may want to consider blocking it.”

There has been a registry for more than 20 years.

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According to the Office of the Attorney General’s web site, Idaho doesn’t maintain its own do not call list, and the Attorney General’s office cannot register your telephone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. It is free to add your home landline and cell phone numbers to the registry, and you only have to do so once. The registry never expires.

If your number has been registered on the National Do Not Call Registry for at least three months and you receive an unwanted telemarketing call, the Idaho Attorney General’s office recommends filing a complaint with the Attorney General’s office and the Federal Trade Commission.

“Unfortunately, there is no single entity or clearinghouse that reviews and confirms the legitimacy of calls,” said DeLange.

Have a question? Just ask and we’ll find an answer for you. Email your question to Kimberly Williams Brackett at with “Curious Mind” in the subject line.


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