The ‘Do Not Call” list was originally designed as a way for consumers to protect themselves against annoying and harassing telemarketing calls. While the service produced results when these calls came in over land telephone lines, they are far less effective at preventing automated ‘robocalls’ to mobile devices, which are prohibited under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Lawsuits over TCPA violations can provide damages for victims, but robocalls continue to persist at an astounding rate. The following highlights why the Do Not Call list is ineffective and actions you can take when you receive these calls.
The Do Not Call Registry And Robocalls
The National Do Not Call Registry is a service of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and is designed to help reduce the number of unwanted telemarketing calls you receive. It does not prevent debt collection robocalls. To access the service, register your number at donotcall.gov, and it will be added to a database used by businesses in creating call lists for marketing purposes. Unfortunately, as the system relies on reputable businesses to willingly comply with federal regulations, it fails to impact the majority of robocalls, which often involve marketing scams designed to rob consumers of their money.
According to Consumers Union, most robocalls are made to mobile phones, which the Do Not Call list fails to address for the following reasons:
- Technology allows scammers to spoof phone numbers, making them harder to trace;
- Robocall operations are easy to set and take down as needed, and are difficult to track;
- Scammers are often based overseas, and are not concerned about penalties under U.S. federal laws;
- Many of the phone companies resist investing in technology used to block illegal robocalls.
What To Do If You Are Harassed by Robocalls
If you are being harassed by illegal robocalls, the FTC recommends doing the following:
- Do not answer calls from unfamiliar callers.
- If you do answer a robocall, hang up immediately. Do not speak, or press any buttons on your phone, as this will likely increase the number of calls you receive.
- Document the call, and report robocalls to the FTC
Under the TCPA, you may be entitled to claim damages of between $500 and $1,500 for each illegal robocall you receive. For help in filing your claim, contact Keogh Law, LTD and request a consultation with our experienced Chicago TCPA claims attorney today.