State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R,C - Schenectady) said several constituents have recently e-mailed him with concerns after hearing rumors that cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketers.
"This is an Internet hoax, or an urban legend if you will," Senator Farley said. "This 'warning' has been circulating for at least a year. However, as the Federal Trade Commission notes, no one is releasing these numbers to telemarketers. Furthermore, FCC regulations prohibit telemarketers from using their automated dialing systems to call people on their cell phones. According to the FTC, telemarketing to cell phone numbers has always been illegal in most cases and will continue to be so."
While there is not a separate cell phone list, people can always add their personal cell phone number to the Do Not Call Registry, Senator Farley said.
In 2000, Senator Farley co-sponsored legislation to create New York State's Do Not Call program to protect consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls. In 2003, the State's Do Not Call registry merged with the federal government's program, enabling New Yorkers to enjoy the added protection of the new national registry without having to re-register.
To add a cell phone or home phone to the national Do Not Call Registry, consumers can either log on to the website www.donotcall.gov, or call toll-free (888) 382-1222 from the telephone number they wish to register, Senator Farley said.