The Associated Press
updated 8/21/2003 10:58:31 AM ET 2003-08-21T14:58:31

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission Thursday issued a warning to consumers about a new scam that charges for signing up to the free government “do not call” list that places numbers off limits to telemarketers.

THE FTC launched the registry in late June and so far more than 30 million numbers have been registered for the list that will stop telemarketers calling those numbers for five years.

A new number being nationally advertised, 1-800-DONOTCALL, charges callers $2.95 to be connected to the FTC’s sign-up system and takes up to seven minutes, versus the free number, 1-888-382-1222, which takes about two minutes, the FTC said.

Consumers can also register for the “do not call” list on the Internet. Though the list does not cover all unsolicited telephone calls, the agency expects the list to grow to 60 million numbers.

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