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Not All Robocalls Are Illegal

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USTelecom’s focus is on eliminating illegal robocalls, although it is important for consumers to be aware that some organizations and individuals are exempt from do-not-call requests.

DETERMINING IF A CALL IS LEGAL OR ILLEGAL

The most complex part is identifying illegal calls in real time to be able to block them without blocking lawful calls. Factors to consider include:

  • The technology used to make the call
  • Whether the call is to a landline or a mobile number
  • Whether the content of the call is telemarketing
  • Whether the called number is on the National Do Not Call Registry

IDENTIFYING ORGANIZATIONS OR INDIVIDUALS EXEMPT FROM THE DO NOT CALL RULES

The Do Not Call rules only apply to telemarketing calls, the following types of calls are exempt from do-not-call requests:

  • Tax-exempt, non-profit organizations
  • Political organizations
  • Pollsters and survey takers, not making sales calls
  • Religious organizations
  • Telemarketers to whom you have given prior written consent to call you

WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR TELEMARKETERS CALLING YOUR HOME PHONE?

There are a number of rules telemarketers must adhere to when contacting consumers over the phone.

  • Callers must have prior express written consent before making telemarketing calls using a prerecorded or artificial voice
  • Telephone solicitation calls to the home are prohibited before 8 am or after 9 pm
  • Telemarketers are no longer able to make telemarketing robocalls to home telephones based solely on an “established business relationship” that may have been established when purchasing something from a business or contacting the business

OPTING OUT OF AUTODIALED CALLS

Telemarketers are required to allow consumers to opt out of receiving future telemarketing robocalls immediately during a prerecorded telemarketing call through an automated menu. The opt-out mechanism must be announced at the outset of the message and available throughout the duration of the call.

FILING UNWANTED CALL COMPLAINTS

  • For unwanted calls, including if a number is being spoofed, blocked, or labeled, file a complaint with the FCC at fcc.gov/complaints
  • For complaints concerning telephone fraud or telemarketers who disregard the Do Not Call list, file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.complaintassistant.gov
  • If the unwanted call is an IRS scam, file a complaint with the Treasury Inspector April 2019 General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at tigta.gov or call 1 800 366 4484

USTelecom is committed to working with government and industry stakeholders to ensure aggressive civil and criminal enforcement against illegal robocallers and provide call-blocking solutions to consumers.

Check out out Robocalls Action Center and Industry Traceback Group for more information.

We have released a series of resources to help consumers protect themselves from unwanted calls:

Infographic: Safety on the Line
Protecting Yourself from Illegal Robocalls
Protecting Yourself from Spoofing
Protecting America’s Senior Citizens

America’s broadband providers are committed to protecting consumers from illegal robocalls.

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