Telemarketing Calls

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Q:

I’m receiving telemarketer calls from the same company every day. The caller ID lists my name and my home telephone number although I am not making the call. Is this legal?

A:

The call is probably not legal.  It is likely a robocall (i.e. an automated dialed call with a prerecorded message).   Although some robocalls can be legal, such as calls from charitable organizations, a robocall that is a sales pitch is potentially illegal unless you provided written permission for the call.

An individual could give written “permission” for robocalls through several outlets— by providing a number on social media sites, by calling a 900 number, or by purchasing or soliciting information from a company or website.  This is why it is important to understand how your information will be used when disclosed to a company or a website, including social media sites.

The reason you are seeing your own number is the call is a “spoof.”  A “spoof” is where a caller uses technology to misrepresent Caller ID information.  If you receive a call you believe to be a scam, and the caller is asking you for money or for personal information, such as your social security number, or if the call seems suspicious, you should cease the communication.  Undertake some due diligence to ensure the call was from a genuine source.  In addition, if you believe it was a scam, consider contacting law enforcement and/or an attorney to determine your legal rights and options.

To avoid these types of calls, you could register with Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registry, screen calls, block/ignore calls, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, and/or talk to a lawyer about your legal options.

This article only provides an abbreviated overview of the law, and other options might exist for dealing with unwanted telephone calls.  Since each case can encompass a variety of issues, it would be prudent to discuss your matter with legal counsel.

Copyright © 2016 Kyle R. Guelcher – All Rights Reserved.

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