More Toll Free Government Use

Rapid City employees may soon be able to report possible cases of fraud or theft simply be dialing a toll free telephone number. The Rapid City Council is considering implementing an anonymous third-party hot line to help discover misuse of city resources similar to one already in operation in Sioux Falls. This is just another way that governments are utilizing toll free service to help save money and to help their constituents. Over the past decade, we have seen toll free grow in use by small towns, counties, states and the federal government.


What Part Does the FCC Play in Regulating Toll Free Phone Numbers?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates the use of toll-free numbers and establishes rules on how they can be obtained and used.

Launched in 1967 by AT&T, 800 numbers came under the purview of the FCC in the 1980s when the phone service monopoly broke apart. In 1991, the FCC required that toll-free numbers be portable, meaning that a toll-free number subscriber can “port” his or her number to a new provider when changing toll-free number service providers.

Read more here.

Toll Free Scammers Found on eBay

Sales of sought-after toll free numbers on eBay continue even as reports of the FCC looking into improper turnover of these numbers continues. Log on now and you will see listings. A black market for toll free numbers has emerged and attempts to illegally buy and sell choice numbers is increasing. According to regulations enacted by the FCC in 1997, toll free phone numbers cannot be sold or brokered. These rules were approved after the FCC fielded numerous complaints about price gouging for catchy vanity numbers and popular numeric sequences. The FCC reports that anyone caught attempting to sell or broker an 800 number faces significant fines. But that hasn’t stopped brokers from attempting to sell numbers on Internet websites and auction sites such as eBay.