The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released consumer tips for dealing with unwanted robocalls, including a helpful video (see below).
Under the Telemarketing Sales Rule, calls that deliver a recorded message trying to sell you something are illegal, unless you’ve given written permission for the caller to call you. These “robocalls” are illegal even if your phone number is not registered on the National Do Not Call Registry.
Nearly all telemarketing robocalls have been illegal since 2009. Certain other types of robocalls, such as political calls, survey calls, and charitable calls remain legal, and are not covered by the 2009 ban. To date, the FTC has brought 85 enforcement cases targeting illegal robocalls, and violators have paid $41 million in penalties.
If you receive an unwanted robocall, here is what you should do:
- Hang up. According to the FTC, pressing a number during the call will probably just lead to more robocalls.
- Consider calling your phone service provider and ask to block the number, but ask whether they charge for that service. Telemarketers change caller ID information easily and often, so it may not be worth paying the fee, says the FTC.
- Report the call to the FTC at ftc.gov/robocalls or 877-382-4357.
- You may also contact the California Public Utilities Commission’s Consumer Affairs Branch by filing a complaint online at http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/forms/Complaints/ or by telephone at 1-800-649-7570 or in writing to:
You can also put your number on the national Do Not Call Registry. There are some 200 million telephone numbers registered already. To sign up call 888-382-1222 from the number you want removed or visit National Do Not Call Registry. You can learn more by watching the video below: