Robocalling Lawyer For Debt Collection Calls and Telemarketer Calls
Unsolicited telemarketing calls and text messages frequently interrupt work or other activity. Many of these unwanted calls and texts are debt collection calls or advertisements. Other calls and texts are fraudulent schemes seeking to scam you out of money or to obtain private information that can be used to steal your identity.
Technological innovation has made robocalls, pre-recorded messages, ringless voicemail, and junk text messages inexpensive. Businesses are able to generate tremendous numbers of calls and texts with the press of a button for a nominal cost. As a result, the number of unwanted calls and text messages has grown substantially in recent years.
Not only has the number of calls and texts increased, but the amount of money that consumers have lost has increased substantially as well. Consumers lost $905 million to telephone-related fraud and identity theft in 2017. The top three types of consumer frauds: debt collection, identify theft, and imposter scams, are frequently perpetrated through telephone calls and texts. These frauds are widespread nationwide. Unfortunately, Florida leads the country in the number of frauds reported per capita, topping out at 208,443 frauds, resulting in more than $54M in losses, averaging $428 per person.
Unwanted telephone calls and text messages expose you, at a minimum, to inconvenience or interruption. Worse, these calls and texts expose you to a risk of suffering a financial fraud or identity theft.
How Does the TCPA Protect Consumers?
Congress enacted the TCPA, a federal law that protects consumers by prohibiting certain types of unwanted calls. The TCPA prohibits auto-dialed calls and prerecorded messages to cellular telephones that are made without the consumer’s consent. Telemarketers are required to obtain written consent before placing certain calls. The TCPA applies to both telephone calls as well as to text messages that are sent to cell phones.
Congress also gave consumers the opportunity to protect their rights under the TCPA through private lawsuits. TCPA lawsuits are effective at stopping unwanted illegal calls and recovering monies for consumers who received illegal calls.
What types of phone lines fall under the TCPA rules?
The TCPA applies to both landline phones and cell phones. The law also governs fax advertisements and requires that unsolicited fax advertisements contain an opt-out notice to inform recipients how to request that they not be sent future fax advertisements.
The TCPA prohibits illegal sales calls, especially robocalls. Technological innovations have made it cheap to place illegal sales calls to Americans and to display fake caller ID information (spoofing) to increase the likelihood that the calls are answered.
Artificial and prerecorded telemarketing calls to landlines are not permitted without your express consent. However, non-telemarketing calls that are auto-dialed or prerecorded messages (e.g. surveys, opinion polls, charitable fundraising), are permitted. Finally, a landline that has been registered on the Do Not Call list cannot receive 2 or more telemarketing calls (auto-dialed or prerecorded) in a 12-month period.
All telemarketing calls to a cell phone whether prerecorded or auto-dialed are prohibited without your express written consent. You may revoke consent to receive calls at any time. Moreover, a debt collector can only call your cell phone if you have given that number in connection with the debt transaction, not for some other purpose. Finally, the TCPA also prohibits unsolicited advertising or “junk” faxes and requires all advertising faxes to contain an opt-out notice.
What are robocalls?
“Robocalls” are automated telephone calls that deliver a recorded message. Robocalls are typically used in political and telemarketing phone campaigns, as well as public-service or emergency announcements. Some robocalls personalize the message to make it seem like a real person is making the call. Signs of a robocall include a slight pause or clicking sounds when you answer, receiving calls at certain times of the day, or most obviously, a prerecorded message at the start of the call.
Damages You Can Obtain for a TCPA Violation
The TCPA provides consumers with powerful legal recourse to file a lawsuit for each violation of the act. You may be able to recover $500 for each call, fax or text which violates the TCPA. These amounts can be tripled to $1,500 if the call was a willful violation of the law.
What Can I Do About Telemarketer Harassment?
If you are receiving unsolicited robocalls or are being harassed by other unwanted phone calls or texts, there are a number of steps you should take. First, keep a written record of the contact and instruct the caller to stop calling you. It’s a good idea to take a screenshot of the call or text. Finally, register your phone on the state and federal Do Not Call lists.
Contact Our Florida TCPA Lawyer To Stop Unwanted Calls and Collect $500 or More for Illegal Calls and Texts
Attorney Seth Lehrman represents people who have received unwanted calls or texts in TCPA cases in Florida, and nationwide. If you have received unsolicited calls or texts, or if you have been subjected to other harassing telephone calls, please contact our law firm for a free consultation.