Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

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Telemarketing Information You Need to Know

What to know before you answer the phone?

  • Telemarketers call us for a purpose ? either to get us to purchase something or to solicit a donation. Before you answer the phone, review these simple rules so that you can hang-up on fraud.
  • Telemarketers are prohibited by law from calling your residence before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. Eastern Time.
  • Once you have asked a telemarketer to remove you from their calling list, they are not permitted to call you again. Be sure to keep a log of every time you ask to be put on a company's "do not call" list.
  • Telemarketers are required to tell you that it is a sales call and they must provide you with the seller's name.
  • Do not disclose your social security number, information about your bank accounts or credit card numbers unless you are familiar with the caller or company.
  • Telemarketers must not block the display of their name and calling number on Caller ID units, if the technology is available.

What you can do to protect yourself?

Ask for written information about the product, service, investment opportunity or charity before you agree to make a purchase or donate money.

Avoid unwanted calls by registering for the Pennsylvania Do Not Call list - online or call 1-888-777-3406. Registration is FREE and lasts for five years. Registration on the Pennsylvania list automatically places you on the federal list. 

When will my number be placed on the Do Not Call list, and how long will it take for telemarketers to stop calling me?

Pennsylvania's Do Not Call list is updated four times a year. Telemarketers purchase the Do Not Call list quarterly and have 30 days to remove names and numbers on the list from their own call lists.

 If you register before: Telemarketers cannot call you after:
 September 15 November 1
 December 15 February 1
 March 15 May 1
 June 15 August 1

If you receive a telemarketing call and you are on the Do Not Call list, find out who the telemarketer is, which company they represent, their address and phone number. Scammers have been making phone calls to consumers claiming to represent the national Do NOt Call Registry. The calls claim to provide an opportunity to sign up for the Registry. These calls are not coming from the Registry or the Federal Trade Commission, and you should not respond to these calls. To add your number to the Registry you can call 888-382-1222 from the phone you wish to register or log onto www.donotcall.gov.

Your registration on the federal list will not expire. Telephone numbers placed on the National Do Not Call Registry will remain on it permanently due to the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007, which became law in February 2008. Read more about it at www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/04/dncfyi.shtm.

Remember that if you miss the quarterly registration deadline, it will take up to 120 days for your number to appear on the list.  

Report violations of the telemarketing rules to the Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection by submitting a complaint form at www.attorneygeneneral.gov or call 1-800-441-2555.