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Minnesota consumers warned of cell-phone 'do not call' scam

The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota is warning consumers of a scam involving e-mails urging people to contact a "do not call" list for their cell-phone numbers.

The e-mails tell consumers they must register their cell phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry before a certain deadline or they will be billed for each telemarketing call they receive after the deadline expires. The e-mail also urges the receiver to share the message with friends.

The Better Business Bureau is reminding the public that these notifications are not accurate. On the contrary, it is illegal for telemarketers who use auto-dialers to call cell-phone numbers. There is also no deadline to register your cell phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry.

The Better Business Bureau notes that while some cell phone companies are compiling a national registry of cell phone numbers, only consumers who opt in to the registry will be included. If you don't act, your number won't be included on the list.

The new cell phone directory also "will not be published, made available over the Internet or sold to telemarketers. It would be made available only to operator service centers performing the 411 directory assistance service,'' Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the regional Better Business Bureau, said in a prepared statement. "The cell phone/Do Not Call Registry deadline is an urban myth which re-surfaces periodically."

Customers who receive these e-mails are urged to ignore them, in case a virus is attached. Customers who have questions can contact the Better Business Bureau at (651) 699-1111 or obtain a report on a company at the