The "National Do Not Call Registry" made a lot of headlines when it was created in 2003, but many consumers never signed up or didn't understand the rules of what calls are covered...

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The “National Do Not Call Registry” made a lot of headlines when it was created in 2003, but many consumers never signed up or didn’t understand the rules of what calls are covered and which ones are exempt from the rules.

Adding your phone number to the list is simple: Go to www.donotcall.gov and handle it online — it takes just a few seconds to file, plus a moment’s worth of verification to officially be added to the list — or call 888-382-1222 from the number you want to put on the list.

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Registered numbers stay on the list for five years.

Consumers who are on the list but want to file a complaint against a telemarketer can handle that at the www.donotcall.gov site too.

Syndicated columnist Chuck Jaffe produces Financial Housekeeping.