Viral e-mails urging cell-phone users to hurry up and register with a government “Do Not Call” list to avoid advertising spam are still circulating five years after federal officials first told consumers they could basically ignore the message. The Federal Trade Commission in July once again issued a consumer alert noting that people do not need to register a cell phone or wireless phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry despite viral e-mail messages suggesting otherwise. The alert notes that people may place their cell phone numbers on the registry, but it also notes that federal regulations already prohibit most telemarketing targeted to cell phones. Similar information is listed at the top of the FTC’s Do Not Call information page. Some telemarketing to cell phones has been conducted in violation of federal regulations, and the FTC Web site includes notices of actions the agency has taken over the years against violators, who rely on automated dialers to reach cell phones. Despite what the viral e-mails say, the government is not releasing cell phone numbers to telemarketers, according to the latest FTC alert, and there is no deadline for registering a cell phone number on the Do Not Call Registry. The alert notes that Federal Communications Commission regulations prohibit telemarketers from using automated dialers to call cell phones.

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