Social media websites and inboxes are flooded these days with a message that claims mobile phone numbers will be released to telemarketing companies and the incoming call individuals receive from them will be charged.
The message provided by Hoax Slayer reads:
Cell Phone Numbers Go Public this month. REMINDER..... all cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sales calls. .... YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888-382-1222 .
It is the National DO NOT CALL list It will only take a minute of your time.. It blocks your number for five (5) years. You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked. You cannot call from a different phone number. HELP OTHERS BY PASSING THIS ON. It takes about 20 seconds RE-POST
While the second part of the message, the one about the Do Not Call service, is true, since there is an actual service that allows you to block unwanted calls from telemarketers, the first part is complete bogus.
The message has been circulating for close to seven years now, falsely alerting users of the same situation, but in reality, this in never going to happen.
The FTC even issued a few notifications to make sure people know about the scam, stating that it’s illegal for telemarketers to call individuals on their cell phones, but as an extra precaution, anyone can submit their numbers to the National Do-Not-Call Registry. Unfortunately, their advisories completely failed, since internauts keep sending each other the fake warning without checking the facts to make sure it’s true.
Users are advised to document a warning before spreading it by email or social media networks. Even if messages like this don’t contain malware, it’s still considered spamming.