How to Report a Robocall

Nearly all automated calls to mobile phones are illegal in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but that hasn’t stopped telemarketers and debt collection companies from using auto-dialers to reach consumers.

In some cases, the caller will deliberately falsify the information sent to your caller ID to mask their identity, a practice known as spoofing.

Caller ID Block

The FCC has taken a variety of actions against these companies, including:

  • Issuing hundreds of millions of dollars in fines
  • Allowing phone companies to block certain kinds of calls that are likely to be illegal before they can get to consumers
  • Giving customers the ability to use call blocking or labeling services
  • Working with phone companies on caller ID authentication

Hot to stop robocalls

If you believe you’re received and illegal call or text, you can file a complaint with the FCC.  The commission also offers these tips to stop unwanted robocalls and protect yourself from phone scams:

Unknown Caller
  • Do not answer calls from numbers you don’t recognize. If you do answer, hang up right away.
  • Was the call Spoofed? Remember that a caller ID displaying a local number doesn’t always mean that you’re getting a local call.
  • Recorded Voices – If you receive a call that tells you to hit a certain button to end the calls, just hang up.  There’s no magic “report robocall” button. Having you press a button during your call is something scammers do to identify future targets.
  • Never give out personal information – You do not need to provide any personal identifying information, such as your Social Security number, passwords, bank account numbers, etc. – to an unexpected caller. 
  • Set a password for your voicemail. Some voicemail services are set up to let users access messages by calling their own number. A hacker could spoof your number and get into your voicemail if you haven’t created a password.
  • Be wary of callers who immediately ask for information.
  • Talk to your phone company about Call Block technology. You can download mobile apps that can block unwanted calls.
  • Register your number for the Do Not Call List. Reputable telemarketing companies will review the numbers on this list and take care to avoid them.

Seek Legal Help

Flitter Milz is a nationally recognized consumer protection law firm that represents victims of unwanted robocalls.  Contact us today to find out how we can help you fight for your rights.

 

How to Report Telemarketers

The advent of the Do Not Call registry was supposed to put an end to unwanted  robocalls from telemarketers, lenders and debt collectors. Unfortunately, there are always new companies, with new phone numbers, placing new calls.  However, there are ways you can stop unwanted robocalls.  Read on to learn how to get yourself off telemarketers’ lists and how to report do no call violations.

Continue reading How to Report Telemarketers

How Do Telemarketers Get My Number?

Everyone has received a call from a telemarketer that has used and auto-dialer at some point.  This type of call is referred to as a robocall. According to the Federal Communications Commission, there are just about 2.4 billion robocalls made every month to consumers. These unwanted calls are annoying, disruptive, and always seem to occur at the most inopportune times.

Where do they get my information?

You may be wondering how these callers get your phone number in the first place. Telemarketers and robo dialing companies can get this information from a variety of sources.

Applications like those for credit cards, contest entries, or a signup form for an online service may contain language that allows the company to sell this information to solicitors. The Terms of Use on smartphone apps that many people skim or skip over entirely may also contain information about who will get access to your personal information.

Unfortunately, some charities trade or sell donor contact information as another revenue method. After donating, you may start to receive contact from other groups that you’re not familiar with.

Sometimes the process for number retrieval is completely automated and random. Certain technology can rapidly dial numbers to determine all of the possible combinations currently in use, including those that are unlisted.

How can I get calls to stop?

Register your phone number with the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry. Not all telemarketers abide by this list, but it should help reduce the number of calls you receive.

You can also download an app for your smartphone that alerts you when a caller is suspected spam. This should help you weed out some of the calls.

Robo dialers and telemarketers are becoming increasingly tech savvy. Not only do they engage in caller ID spoofing where they mask the actual number with one from your area code, they have also begun to engage in ringless voicemail. Ringless voicemail means that your cell phone will suddenly have a voicemail message without it ever ringing. This tactic renders the spam alert apps useless, and has become a partisan issue as Democrats and Republicans dispute over whether or not the Telephone Consumer Protection Act covers this type of contact. You can contact your representatives to let them know that you’re opposed to the use of ringless voicemail.

Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), lenders, telemarketers, and debt collectors need your permission before they can contact you on your cell phone. In some agreements, you may unknowingly agree to this type of contact, but you can always revoke your consent. Send a letter to the caller stating that they no longer have permission to contact you. If the calls continue, keep a call log and get in touch with a consumer protection attorney. The TCPA allows consumers to recover between $500-$1500 for each violating call or text.

Be careful with personal information

In the future, think twice about where you share your information online and on forms and applications. Always read the fine print so that you know what you’re agreeing to before you sign.

Seek Legal Help

Flitter Milz is a nationally recognized consumer protection law firm that represents victims of unwanted robocalls.  Contact Us to discuss calls that have been placed to your cell phone which may have violated your consumer rights.

What You Need Know About Ringless Voicemails

Telemarketers, debt collectors, and other companies that engage in mass telephone outreach are becoming increasingly tech-savvy, finding new ways to reach consumers as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Companies that began with robocalls or auto-dialer technology that enables businesses to program computers to place millions of calls at a low cost, have now adopted a new strategy with ringless voicemails. Consumers who receive this type of contact will find a voicemail on their phone without their phone ever actually ringing.

Where does this new tactic fit in with existing regulations of automatic dialing systems?

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA, was signed into law in 1991 as a means of governing the use of automatic dialing systems, pre-recorded messages, text messages, and fax machines. It also requires that the caller identify himself and the company he’s calling from, and get permission from the consumer prior to calling.

The TCPA has protected consumers from annoying, inconvenient, and unwanted calls and has created an avenue for consumer legal action when companies don’t comply. Under the law, recipients of frequent unwanted calls can receive between $500 to $1500 per violating call. Consumers have also turned to the Do Not Call registry to seek relief from this type of contact, although some news outlets note that the registry’s effectiveness has started to dwindle in recent years.

Lawmakers are now debating whether new ringless voicemail technology falls under the jurisdiction of the TCPA, or if this type of contact is protected by First Amendment rights.

Write to Your Representatives

What do you think about the use of ringless voicemails? Write to your representatives to express your opinion and explain how you would be affected if they are not considered applicable under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

Find your Representative
Find your Senators

Seek Legal Help

Flitter Milz is a nationally recognized consumer protection law firm that represents victims of unwanted robocalls.  Contact Us to discuss calls that have been placed to your cell phone.

How to Stop Persistent Unwanted Calls And Texts to your Cell Phone

More and more people are getting robocalls to their cell phones

The Federal Communications Commission states that there are nearly 2.4 billion robocalls made every month to consumers.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was passed by the United States Congress to limit the use of automatic dialing systems that are often used by lenders, debt collectors and telemarketers as an inexpensive method of contacting consumers.  They are required to obtain your permission to make contact with you by cell phone. This permission is usually obtained when you fill out an application for credit. Generally you’re asked to provide personal information such as your name and address, but also your cell phone number.

The Court ruled that you can revoke consent

Flitter Milz brought the first case of its kind, Gager v. Dell Financial Services, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia. The court agreed that consumers can block annoying robocalls to their cell phones, and revoke any consent that was implied when they applied for credit.

How to Stop the Calls

If you’ve provided your cell phone number on an application, you can cancel permission for that company to contact you.

Log the Calls
Keep a diary of calls including the date, time of day, name of caller, caller ID
and details of the conversation or message.

Gather your cell phone records
Obtain cell phone records from the time period when you received the calls.

Send a letter to the caller
State that the caller/company no longer has permission to contact you by cell
phone.  Keep a copy of your letter and send it to the caller by Certified Mail,
Return Receipt.

Seek Legal Help

If the bank or lender, telemarketer, or debt collector continues to call after being told to stop, those calls could be a violation to the TCPA, which means you could recover between $500 – $1500 for each violating call or text.

Flitter Milz is a nationally recognized consumer protection law firm representing victims of unwanted robocalls.  Contact Us for a free consultation.

 

What are Robo Texts?

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) advised that text messages sent by auto-dialers, or “robotexts”, are prohibited under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Consumers who received a new cell phone number must revoke consent in order to trigger TCPA protections, especially when a new cell phone number is reassigned from a prior owner who granted consent for robotexts or robocalls.

Congress passed initial TCPA legislation back in 1991, and has been refining the rules ever since. The law limits the use of automatic dialing systems, artificial or pre-recorded voice messages, SMS text messages, and fax machines. It also requires the caller to be identified in the message.

Robocalls Require Permission

Telemarketers, lenders, and debt collectors must get your permission before they contact you on your cell phone using a robo-dialer or automated voice. If you provided a cell phone number on a credit application, consent to call that number may be implied by a lender.

You Can Revoke Your Consent

You have the right to retract permission. If you no longer wish to be contacted on your cell phone, you need to contact the caller and inform them that they no longer have your consent. It is most effective to handle this request in writing.

In Gager v. Dell Financial Services, the first case of its kind, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, PA agreed that consumers may block annoying robocalls to their cell phones. Under the TCPA, consumers can revoke any alleged consent implied by applying for credit. Dell Financial’s further efforts to have the appeals court reconsider its ruling were rebuffed.

Document the Calls

If a telemarketer, lender, or debt collector continues to call your cell phone after you have revoked consent, it is important to document the calls in a call log. You should also retain your cell phone records and identify calls placed to your cell phone. To obtain phone records from your cell phone provider, you may need to send a written request.

Seek Legal Help

If you continue to receive calls on  your cell phone after requesting they stop, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the caller. The TCPA permits consumers to recover $500 – $1500 for each call placed by the telemarketer, lender, or debt collector after they’ve been told to stop.

Flitter Milz is a nationally recognized consumer protection law firm representing victims of unwanted robocalls and texts.  Contact Us for a free legal evaluation to determine whether your consumer rights have been violated.

 

Stop Robocalls to your Cell Phone

Are telemarketers, debt collectors or lenders contacting you at all hours of the day on your cell phone? You have the right to stop these unwanted calls.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was passed by the United States Congress to limit the use of automatic dialing systems, or robocalls, used by lenders, telemarketers and debt collectors as an inexpensive method to contact consumers.

Follow these steps to stop unwanted robocalls to your cell phone.

Write to Revoke Consent

Send a letter through Certified Mail, Return Receipt to the collection agency, bank, or telemarketer that is contacting you. Request that your number be removed from their call records and that calls stop immediately. Be sure to retain a copy of your letter for your records. 

Create a Call Log

If the calls continue, log the calls with date, time of day, caller ID, name of the caller or company, and any details of the message, text, or phone conversation. Make sure to retain all voice and text messages.

Gather your Cell Phone Records

Obtain your cell phone records covering the time period when you received calls on your cell phone.  Identify the caller’s phone numbers.

Seek Legal Help

Flitter Milz is a nationally recognized consumer protection law firm representing victims of unwanted robocalls. Contact us for an evaluation of whether your consumer rights have been violated.

Getting Unwanted Robocalls? Know the Rules

Congress passed initial TCPA legislation back in 1991, and the federal agency has been refining the law ever since. The law limits the use of automatic dialing systems, artificial or pre-recorded voice messages, SMS text messages, and fax machines. The law also requires the caller to be identified in the message. Get familiar with the law to learn how you can stop unwanted calls and texts.

Robocalls Require Permission

Telemarketers, debt collectors and lenders must get your permission before they contact you on your cell phone. A mere business relationship with you does not mean consent to contact you on your cellphone. This restriction does not apply to urgent calls or texts, like emergency calls or verifications.

You Can Revoke Your Consent

You have the right to revoke any permission that you previously gave. The caller can’t require an extensive process either, like asking you to mail in a form to be removed from their contact list.

Callers Must Update Wrong Numbers

Telemarketers have resources that help them see when a consumer’s cell phone number changes. They are allowed to call a wrong number one time. Afterwards they update their list.

Take Action

If you receive auto dialed calls to your cell phone that you never consented to, or you continue to receive calls on your cell phone after requesting they stop, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the caller. The TCPA permits consumers to recover $500 – $1500 for each call placed to the consumer after they’ve been told to stop.

Seek Free Legal Help

Flitter Milz is a nationally recognized consumer protection law firm that represents victims of unwanted robocalls from debt collectors, lenders and telemarkerters.  Contact Us for a free evaluation.

 

 

Think Twice Before Putting Your Mobile Number on an Application

Calls to Your Cell Phone Require Consent

Before placing your put mobile number on an application, think twice. You may not need to include your number to have your application processed. Look to see if the application states ‘give permission’. If you don’t like the wording, simply strike a line through it and place your initials next to the line.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) requires callers that use automated dialing equipment to get consent before calling a consumer’s cell phone. If you list your cell phone number on a loan or credit card application, this implies that you are giving consent for the bank or lender to contact you on this number.

Revoke Consent

Even if you listed your cell phone number on a credit or loan application, you always have the right to revoke consent from a lender, telemarketer or debt collector to stop unwanted robocalls to your cellphone.

You may send a letter to the bank, collection agency, or telemarketer that is calling your cell phone and request the calls to stop. Send your letter by Certified Mail, Return Receipt so that you have proof your letter was received. Retain a copy of this letter for your records.

If you don’t have a street address, send a message via email or text. Otherwise, tell the caller verbally that the calls must stop.  Keep a record of the calls and make a note of the date and time, name of caller and company, and details of your conversation.

Seek Legal Help

If you continue to receive calls on your cell phone after requesting they stop, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the caller. The TCPA permits consumers to recover $500 – $1500 for each call placed without the consumer’s permission.

Flitter Milz is a nationally recognized consumer protection law firm that represents victims of unwanted robocalls to cell phones.  Contact Us for a free legal evaluation.

Register with the National Do Not Call Registry

You can also register your home phone and cell phone numbers with the National Do Not Call Registry to help stop unwanted calls to your personal numbers. The National Do Not Call Registry is managed by the Federal Trade Commission. To submit your number to the National Do Not Call Registry:

        Phone: 888-382-1222
        Online: www.donotcall.gov