Are Cell Phone Numbers Going Public?

Rumors about cell phone numbers going public, or in other words, being released to telemarketers have been circulating around the Internet for years. In most scenarios users are sent an email informing them that “cell phone numbers go public this month” and are advised to dial the National Do Not Call Registry at 888-382-1222 in order to have their cell phone number blocked for 5 years. I think that it’s high time to put this rumor to rest once and for all…

First of all, let me assure you that cell phone numbers are NOT going to be released to telemarketers. It didn’t happen in 2010 and it won’t happen in 2011 either. Here’s why; The FCC has blocked telemarketers from using autodialers to dial cell phone numbers. This means that even if cell phone numbers were to be made public, that telemarketers would have to manually dial each and every cell phone number that they wanted to call. The increased overhead that the telemarketing firm would incur just wouldn’t make any business sense. Also, if you visit the National Do Not Call Registry website, you will notice a banner on the top of the page which tells you flat-out that your registration will not expire due to the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007, which became law in February 2008. So its safe to say that the 5 year time limit for National Do Not Call Registry registrations is quite simply not accurate. Lastly, this rumor has been exhaustively explored by other organizations over the past few years and has never been proven to be true.

So where did the cell phones go public rumor originate from?

There was once an effort to make a 411 directory for cell phones by a company called Qsent. The cellular 411 directory that Qsent had intended to build would in fact make cell phone numbers available to the public, BUT on an opt in basis only. News of a cellular 411 directory quickly spread around the Internet creating concern that cellphone numbers would then be sold to telemarketers, hence the rumor that “cell phone numbers are going public…”

Is There A Do Not Call List For Cell Phones?

Although there isn’t a dedicated do not call list for cell phones, the National Do Not Call Registry works for both landlines and cell phones alike. If you don’t want your cell phone, or land line phone to EVER be called by a telemarketer then all you need to do is visit the National Do Not Call Registry website, click on the Register A Phone Number link and follow the simple on screen instructions. Be sure to check your email for a verification notification from the National Do Not Call Registry with the following subject line;

National Do Not Call Registry – OPEN AND CLICK on Link to Complete Your Registration

Click the link included in the email and your registration will be completed.

Update: January 10th, 2011

  • Some readers have reported seeing rumors about cell phone numbers going public on Facebook. Don’t worry, it’s still not true!
  • It should be pointed out that a national 411 directory for cell phone numbers will most likely one day come to fruition. When this happens, the directory will be opt in only and it will not be sold to telemarketers or even exist in print format. The national cellular 411 directory will be available on the Internet only.

19 thoughts on “Are Cell Phone Numbers Going Public?

  1. Pingback: Cell Phones Going Public | Cell Phones

  2. dbmcnary

    This is a crock! Despite registering with the do not call registry And filing numerous complaints,I keep getting annoiance telemarket calls from people I’ve Never done business with! My States AG office says these people spoof calls and are very difficult to trace, meaning there’s nothing to be done. In other words, deal with it! 🙁

  3. j

    Any business can contact you by phone for 18 months afte you contacted them or did business with them. In other words, if you give them your number and do or did business with them they are allowed to call 1-1/2 years afterward. I sugest everyone read the rules about no call list listed on their site

  4. tina

    the information that you have provided to the readers is incorrect i have been receiving telemarketing calls and signed up on the do not call list again….please do more research before you provide inaccurate information…..have a great day

  5. Gloria Flynn

    You are mistaken about the cell phones are not being used by telemarketers. I have been receiving a lot of calls about my credit card — nothing is wrong but they need to talk to me. That makes me nuts because I have a Do Not Call on my home phone. I also have a Do Not Call on my cell phone but guess what??? On Tuesday, 9/6/11 @ 2:31 pm I got the same call on my cell phone. I was shocked. The # was 772-224-3390. So don’t tell me the telemarketers don’t have access because I know they do.

  6. Susan

    Will the Do Not Call registration also cover unwanted texts? I have started to get them from yahoo and walmart but I can’t use the phone number that shows as they managed to get it thru short one number . It’s most annoying when the phone chimes at 2 AM. that I have a text. They want me to click on the link in the text to see what they are selling.


    You are INCORRECT about cell phone numbers not being public on FB–I got a warning that they are if you link your smartphone to it–checked it out and found it to be absolutely true–I also realized I had the cell numbers of all my friends friends. Also, I started getting telemarketing calls recently myself as another person mentioned.

  8. Mike Steben Post author

    I will get some more information about our family background and send it on over to you. I am aware of the name change, and I believe that my father may have some info about this.

  9. Mary Steben Edmondson

    I’m a Steben & that is quite an uncommon name. Our ancestors uses to spell the name Stebbins but it changed over the years due to historical events and eventually became Steben. I wonder if we have common ancestor. Ours originated in England.

  10. aubrey skinner oregon crabber

    anouther new phone and am still faced with same problems 411 when i use it it gives me numbers to completely different buisnesses screen on phone is really dim with some distortion to it and some messages are open before i can do it myself so what do ido to get back to normal useage of my rights to free enjoyment of cellular useage aubrey skinner waldport oregon

  11. aubrey skinner

    time of my comment on cell phones is not correct for the record its 7 45 pm june first 2011 thanks

  12. aubrey skinner

    as per my comment on cell phone issues i have now found out why i am and have had so many problems my daughter was molested by a person and after 40.000 dollars in lawyers fees and to date he still is free dhs has slandered my name to death and has made false reasons to investigate me over and over for years now 03 till now to be exact they took my daughter away from me on a verbal abuse charge and havent seen her since then in away thats normal they have placed her in several homes and have up rooted her continuelly even in a home with a couple that wasnt licnsed or approved by state to be foster parents and she was abused again in the states care charllote higgins lee phd has viewed this huge injustice and to date has never been allowed by courts to present her forensic evaluation to the judge mother of my child found out later testified in a criminal matter and now has imunity this explains why her familly and her were never punished for the abuse and violations of protection orders i filed i am under constant attack by state tribes and law enforcement somebody help me ive tried everything

  13. aubrey skinner

    any body got any ideas im the guy who got shot by david durham in waldport or who was crabbing when police chased him to me and was mistaken for a cop

  14. aubrey skinner

    my phones all 9 of them in the past 5 years am now finding out that every one of them were all contaminated with spyware i cant get them out of my phone my number is 5412724553 somebody please helpme before i freake out

  15. Mike Steben Post author

    Joan, have you registered your cell phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry? Doing so will put your cell phone number on the do not call list and within 30 days the telemarketers should stop calling you. Although YOU may not have given your cell phone number out to any businesses you can’t be certain that someone that you know hasn’t. I’ve seen marketing schemes along the lines of “tell 10 of your friends about us and receive a free iPod…”

  16. Joan Miller

    Dont know if I believe this article anymore, I started getting telemarketing calls just over the last month or so, and I have had this cell phone # since 1993, I have never given my cell # to any businesses at all, ever! And, until now, I never got a weird call either. What the heck is going on???

  17. Mark

    Love the article. You may want to update this because I have seen it on facebook now that you must register on the do not call list because cell phone numbers are going to be released to telemarketers soon. The number they give is the 1 800 number to the national do not call list, but I feel it is scaring people into thinking this is real.

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