Is it illegal for telemarketers to call your cell phone?

What Everyone Should Know about Telemarketing Calls

Is it illegal for telemarketers to call your cell phone

Telemarketing and Unwanted calls

Is it illegal for telemarketers to call your cell phone? Telemarketers have had a more difficult time in recent times. Millions of people have registered their phones at home with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Do not call list.
More importantly, many households do not have phones, which are available through an assistance database for directory services. Telemarketers have begun gathering wireless numbers and call them day and night offering a variety of services and products including legitimate ones and frauds.

Table of Contents

Telemarketing and Unwanted calls

Is it illegal for telemarketers to call your cell phone?

Is it illegal for telemarketers to call your cell phone? Making telemarketing calls to mobile phones is and has always been illegal in most instances. In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has regulations in place to regulate the telemarketing business. The FCC prohibits companies from using automated dialing equipment to call telephones in the event that it costs people money to get the messages.
Since the majority of telemarketers use these automated dialing features many of these calls are illegal. It’s legal for businesses to dial the numbers of cell phones manually but it is extremely labor-intensive and time-consuming. Many companies do not have the time or resources to make this happen.

Federal Rules for Telemarketers

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was enacted in 1991 as a response to consumer complaints of increased calls from marketing companies and pre-recorded and automated messages. By citing the authority of the TCPA The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) promulgated rules that require the telemarketers (defined as those who solicit the telephone) to disclose the following details:
  1. The name of the person
  2. Name of the company (typically an organization) on behalf of which the call is made
  3. An address or telephone number to which the entity may be reached.
Additionally the TCPA restricts telemarketers from calling your home prior to the hours of 8:00 a.m. at night or later than 9:00 p.m. The Telemarketing Sales Rule enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires additional disclosures and also prohibits deliberate deception. The rule also applies to consumer calls in response to solicitations or offers that are sent by mail or on the Internet.
Use the following information to determine whether or not you are speaking with a legitimate telephone marketer:
  • If you have asked not to be called by a particular telemarketer, even if your number is not on the National Do Not Call Registry, they may not call you again (see "The-Do-Not Call Registry," below).
  • Telemarketers are required to tell you whether it is a sales call and the name of the entity doing the selling. If the caller says you've won a prize, they are prohibited from requiring any type of payment prior to receiving the prize.
  • Telemarketers may not misrepresent information about products, prizes, investments, etc.
  • Telemarketers must be clear about the total cost of any goods or services offered, plus the terms of the sale. If a prize is being promoted, you must be told the odds of winning and that no purchase is necessary to win.
  • Credit repair, advance-fee loans, credit services and other financial services are payable only after they have been performed or delivered.
The exceptions to this rule are catalog sales; calls initiated by consumers which are not in response to a request; incomplete sales; sales of pay-per-call services; calls in response to advertisements that already have all disclosures required; and consumer calls in response to general ads.

The Telemarketing Fraud

Although marketing calls on the phone can be irritating, occasionally calls that appear to be an ordinary sales pitch is a fraud. In reality the FTC says that consumers suffer losses of millions of dollars each year due to these fraudulent activities.
Scammers typically get numbers from directories for telephones or mailing lists. They also have the so-called “sucker lists” with the names and phone numbers of those who have answered phone calls at some point in time. Additionally, fraudulent solicitations are conducted by direct mail, advertisements in newspapers, or on the internet (including emails).
The Telemarketing Fraud
Often, the scammer will use one of the following methods in an attempt to separate you from your money:
  • Sweepstakes and Prize Offerings: If you're required to buy something, pay a fee, provide a credit card number, or attend some kind of presentation, then it's probably a scam.
  • Vacation Offers: Unsolicited calls offering a "free" or "discounted" travel package often are bogus and you may end up paying quite a bit in hidden costs and expenses.
  • Charities: Some red flags that the caller may not be representing a legitimate charity include the use of real-sounding but fake charity names or an unwillingness to send written information about the organization.
  • Investment Opportunities: As with most investment offers, anything promising high returns with very little risk is probably not a legitimate offer. If you are unable to find additional information elsewhere, it's probably not legitimate.
  • Recovery Services: Adding insult to injury, some of these recovery scams actually promise to get your money back from previous scams. Never pay upfront for any such services and beware of guarantees.
Do not divulge personal identifiable details (especially the Social Security Number), bank account numbers or credit card information to a stranger Be wary of unsolicited offers from calls. You should consider speaking with an attorney for consumer protection in the event that you suspect that you’ve been being targeted by a fraudster or have any additional questions regarding lawful telemarketing.
stop telemarketers from calling your cell phone

How can I stop telemarketers from calling my cell phone?

It appears that everyone who has an active mobile number is sharing their personal information to Telemarketers. While they may be annoying now however, the unwanted calls can grow to have annoying telemarketers pestering you throughout the day long, or could lead you to fall for scams that could leave you paying a significant amount.

Start with registering for the Do Not Call List

If you’ve noticed that your phone’s mobile is receiving the calls in increasing amounts There is something you can do to stop it. In the first place, you must add your wireless number to the FTC’s Do Not Contact list.
There’s a belief that the list is just for landlines. Based on the FTC it’s not the situation. You can sign up for your mobile phone, too. It will help reduce the number of calls, but it will not completely eliminate unwanted calls.
After you have registered your number there are five kinds of calls you could be receiving:
  • Businesses with which you’ve established a relationship within the past 18 months. It could be that you bought something from them or asked for information. You may be legally entitled to in the coming year and one-half years.
  • Political parties or groups that are seeking your vote. Fortunately, you’ll receive calls from these organizations only around the time of an election.
  • Surveys are conducted by organizations. The surveys may transform into a full-on sales pitch.
  • Charitable organizations.
  • Scammers operate out of the U.S. and don’t care that they’re in violation of the law.

Download Call Blockers

Luckily, your phone includes a function that lets you stop these calls. There is one drawback: they typically have to call at least once before you are able to start blocking them, however the experience has shown that ignoring the telemarketer will result in two or more unwanted calls.
Once you’ve got their number , you can input it into your phone’s call blocking feature. When the telemarketer rings your phone it won’t be ringing on your side. Like you’d expect, the procedure usually requires various steps for different kinds of phones.

Frequently Asked Questions

The majority of telemarketers buy phone numbers from third-party data providers. Here’s how these providers could have obtained your phone number, in accordance with the Better Business Bureau:

  • You dialed the 800 or 888 and/or 900 numbers (they utilize caller I.D. technology and also collect the numbers of phone calls).
  • You have applied for credit.
  • You donate to charitable causes.
  • You’re an active voter.
  • You purchased something or participated in a contest, and you gave your number during the procedure.
  • The number for your phone is on your check.
  • You contact a business and they’ve got the caller I.D. (which you must presume they have).

Every call can trigger legal liability in accordance with the TCPA for calls to mobile phones. Telemarketers can’t receive the benefit of a “free call,” before becoming liable. There is no obligation to inform them or provide them with an opportunity to cease calling you prior to filing a lawsuit. For calls to residential lines that are listed on the list of do not call and a claim for damages under the TCPA is triggered if you receive two calls within a twelve month time frame.

In reality, many consumers could be able to make multiple calls that violate the TCPA before they’re so annoyed to seek legal assistance. If a telemarketer repeatedly called, particularly after the consumer’s request to not call or make use of their cell phone, that is evidence that the telemarketer’s conduct is deliberate, and allows for the additional amount of $1500 for each call returned.

If you suspect that you’re receiving unwanted calls from debt collectors or telemarketers on your cell or home phone, speak to an attorney who is aware of how to enforce your rights.

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