Study: Most cellphones get illegal telemarketing calls

Posted: August 03, 2012

Turns out you're not the only mobile phone user who is getting barraged by telemarketers and zinged by unwanted texts.

In the words of the late, great TV newsman Tom Snyder: "You're one of millions."

According to a new study by the Pew Research Center, 68 percent of cell owners have received unsolicited sales calls on their phones at some point and 25 percent say their cells ring with telemarketers at least a few times a week.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, telemarketing calls to cell phones "is - and always has been - illegal in most cases."

Unwanted text messages are nearly as ubiquitous.

Nearly 79 percent of mobile phone owners who have texting capability have been targeted by spam texts reports Pew and 25 percent say they're annoyed by the spam a few times a week or more.

Of course, those are among the lesser concerns for the 88 percent of American adults who own a cellphone. The study also notes 72 percent of all cell owners run into dropped calls, with 32 percent of them encountering the problem at least a few times a week.

"As mobile owners become fond of just-in-time access to others and as their expectations about getting real-time information rise, they depend on the cellphone's technical reliability, said Jan Lauren Boyles, who authored the report forthe Pew Internet & American Life Project.

"Any problems that snag, stall, or stop users from connecting to the material and people they seek is at least a hassle to them and sometimes is even more disturbing than that in this networked world."

Since a huge number of people have given up their landlines, it's not terribly surprising. Any time a phone number is requested on a form - or even for a pizza delivery - the anonymity and silence of your mobile phone is imperiled since many businesses sell that information to data brokers.

To silence the telemarketers and quash the spam texts, list the phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry at or call 1-888-382-1222.

Contact staff writer Sam Wood at 215-854-2796 or

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