FTC Releases 2021 Do Not Call Registry Data Book

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For the third year running, calls from those pretending to be the government, a business, or family and friends topped the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call complaint data. Updated data released in the Do Not Call Registry Data Book for the fiscal year 2021 shows that approximately 12% of the nearly 5 million calling complaints made to the FTC between October 2020 and September 2021 were tagged as imposter calls by consumers. Continuing a longer trend in this data, robocalls, or pre-recorded messages, accounted for more than two-thirds of all complaints made to the FTC regardless of the subject of the call.

The National Do Not Call Registry, which began registering consumer phone numbers in 2003, remains a popular tool championed by regulators and used by consumers. In its first year, the NDNC list had approximately 50 million phone numbers; today, the registry has grown to include more than 244 million phone numbers.

Although the number of consumer phone numbers included on the registry has increased year over year, the number of callers accessing the registry has continued to fall. In the past year, the number of entities accessing the list was 12,107, a drop from the 18,338 entities accessing the list in 2017. However, despite this drop, the number of entities paying for the list has remained consistent, with over 500 entities paying to access the list for the past four years.

Takeaways:

  1. According to the FTC’s data, pre-recorded message calls are complained about more than live calls. If you are using pre-recorded messages to market your products, make sure you obtain the consumer’s express written consent prior to sending the message.
  2. Over the past several years, imposter complaints have topped the list of calling complaints to the FTC. Companies should monitor the reputation of their phone numbers to identify potential spoofing issues.

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