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How to Stop Unwanted Telemarketing Calls

Under the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 USC sect. 227) and Federal Communication Commission (FCC) rules (47 CFR sect. 64.1200), telemarketers must maintain their own do not call lists. To stop receiving calls from a particular telemarketer, ask to be placed on their do not call list. Keep a list of the entities that you have asked not to call you. Once you ask, they must keep your name on their do not call list for 10 years. If those entities continue to call, you can sue them for $500 or, in some instances $1500, per violation. Complaints can also be filed with the FCC. For more information, see the FCC fact sheet: "Unwanted Telemarketing Calls" on the FCC website at

There is also a separate federal law, known as the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Prevention Act (15 USC 6101-6108) which requires the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to adopt regulations prohibiting certain deceptive and abusive telemarketing practices. The latest FTC regulation, known as the Telemarketing Sales Rule, establishes a national Do Not Call List and sets penalties of $11,000 per violation. For more information on how to add your name to the national list and fact sheets on the FTC's telemarketing rule ("You Make the Call: The FTC's New Telemarketing Sales Rule"), see the FTC's website at

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