With texting and email services that can be used anywhere with a smartphone and an internet connection, there are fewer legitimate phone calls than there used to be. In fact, you might receive more bogus calls on your cell phone than actual people you know. A call that shows up as coming from another state or country might be an obvious telemarketer, scammer, or robocaller, but technology has allowed bad actors to mask their calling numbers as coming from your area code.
When this happens, you might be tempted to answer the phone to see if it is someone you actually need to talk to. When the call is actually a robocall encouraging you to take advantage of “an extremely exciting opportunity,” you’ll likely roll your eyes and hang up the phone. The robocall might be more than just annoying, though; it could be illegal.
What Can You Do About Unwanted Robocalls?
Thanks to a handful of important consumer laws passed in the past few decades, the types of robocalls that can legally reach your cell phone is quite limited. Robocalls from nonprofits, political campaigns, organizations only passing along information, certain health care providers, and, unfortunately, debt collectors, are legal.
The rule is that a telemarketer or other caller who is trying to sell you something must have your written permission to be contacted and sent prerecorded messages. This, of course, doesn’t mean that everyone follows the law. If a commercial robocall gets through to you, try the following:
- Don’t press any numbers the call asks you to press, even if it is supposedly for ending the robocalls.
- Report the number to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- Make sure your number is on the federal Do Not Call registry.
- Check with your cell phone provider about any call-blocking or call-labeling services. If you have a landline, you might be able to install an external call-blocking device.
Robocalls from Debt Collectors
As a law firm that helps consumers get out of debt and realize a brighter financial future, it brings us no pleasure to inform you that the law allows robocalls concerning outstanding debt. This doesn’t mean there aren’t limits on when and how debt collectors can reach you. Calls from debt collectors that do not occur between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. are generally not allowed. Another illegal debt collection practice is continuing to call you after you have sent a written request for the calls to end. This, of course, doesn’t absolve you of your debt obligations, but it can provide some breathing room. Any illegal debt collection practices can earn you compensation or otherwise bode well for your debt collection case.
Ciment Law Firm fights everyday for consumers—especially those who are struggling financially and need some help getting on the right track. Regardless of how much debt you owe your creditors, you have rights. Reach out to our team today to take advantage of a free consultation.