What are Robocalls and Auto-dialers?

  • “Auto-dialer” is a term that describes technology that calls enormous lists of people automatically.

  • “Robocall” is a term that describes a call that was automatically dialed by a machine or an auto-dialer.

  • They greet you with a pause of silence after you pick up. You can also be greeted with a pre-recorded message, or be told to select an option from a keypad. Sometimes, they might even connect you with a real person.

 

Are Robocalls Illegal?

This will depend upon how the call was made. The TCPA, enforced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), sets strict requirements for companies making robocalls help prevent consumers from receiving unwanted prerecorded or auto-dialed phone calls. It’s illegal if the unwanted phone calls fail to fulfill the following requirements:

Express Written Consent

First of all, prior to placing robocalls and using automated dialers, telemarketers must receive consumers’ written consent. This can be given in varied ways including checking a consent box on an internet forum.

Companies should also clearly state that customers consent to receive robocalls once submitting their phone numbers. Additionally, companies aren’t allowed to require consent as a necessity for buying products or services. They are also prohibited from collecting mobile phone numbers through unrelated transactions, incoming phone calls, or third-party contracts.

An option to “Opt-Out”

Regardless of whether or not a telemarketer calls or leaves a voice message, he or she should offer an option for the recipient to opt-out of the calls. This option must be given at the start of the message. When leaving voice messages, telemarketers must offer toll-free call-back numbers so recipients will add their phone numbers to a do-not-call list.

Proper Identification

Companies placing robocalls must offer recipients with various forms of information. At the start of a message, a caller should state:

  • His or her identity

  • The identity of the business on whose behalf he or she is making the call

During or after the message, the caller should provide:

  • The address of the business accountable for putting the call

  • The telephone number of that business

What Should You Do If You Get An illegal Robocall?

  • Hang up the phone. Don’t associate with the caller. Do not call back – it will only result in additional calls.

  • Report the call to the FTC at DoNotCall.gov

Common Signs Of A Robocalls

  • You receive a call and hear a response after saying “Hello” twice.

  • The “person” you’re talking to on the opposite end seems like an automated message.

  • The number calling isn’t recognizable and/or isn’t a number that traces back to an individual or organization.

  • The call is in regard to something you’ve got no clue about and/or something you have taken care of like a debt.

You May Be Entitled To Damages Under The TCPA If You Have Gone Through The Following Scenarios:

  • You never gave written consent to receive automated calls or texts from a company.

  • You’ve received calls or texts from a company looking for another person.

  • You continue to receive calls and texts from a company even after you told them to stop.

The TCPA can provide you with compensation ranging from $500-$1500 if any of the above scenarios apply to you.

If any of these sound familiar, you may be able to file a complaint and sue for damages by calling, emailing, or filling out our online form.

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The Law Offices of Subhan Tariq, Esq., PLLC. has offices in Jamaica Estates, New York. Attorney Tariq represents clients throughout the New York Metro area including throughout Nassau, Queens, Ridgewood, Astoria, Forest Hills, Great Neck, Jamaica, Flushing, Bayside, Woodside, Sunnyside, Rego Park, Briarwood, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Kew Gardens, Fresh Meadows, Ridgewood, Middle Village, Ozone Park, Little Neck, Roslyn, Floral Park, East Hills, Westbury, Plainview, Syosset and Manhasset and throughout Brooklyn, Queens County, Nassau County and New York County.

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