Those Annoying Robo Calls – May Be Money in Your Pocket

imageI‘m getting sick and tired of getting “robo calls,” picking up the phone and finding that no one is on the other end of the line—or a live person is trying to sell me something.

So, I did a little investigation on what can be done about it and found that based on a 1991 law called the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, companies have been fined and consumers are the ones reaping the benefits. In fact, just last year, the law was beefed up to further protect consumers.

AT&T recently paid a $45 million dollar fine for violating this law.

Even if a company has done business with you before, they are not allowed to solicit you unless you’ve given your consent. By the way, this covers unsolicited texts too.

Here are some of the typical violations:

  • You get calls from a company that might have your number but you did not give them specific permission to call you
  • You are accused of owing money when you don’t owe any
  • You ask a company to stop calling—but they don’t
  • They call before 8 am or after 9 pm, your local time
  • You are on the Do Not Call Registry

The Federal Trade Commission wants you to report any violations to them—but you probably know how slow the government is to react. However, there are many law firms that are aggressively filing lawsuits and class action suits.

If you get an unsolicited phone call or text, search the web by simply typing in the phone number and see if others have complained. Chances are that there may be a pending lawsuit you could participate in. If you are receiving robo calls on your cell phone, you may want to install an app called “Privacy Star” that blocks phone calls coming in from known phone numbers and texts.

Here’s the thing — be sure to keep a record. A caller ID record or a copy of the text will work. If they have left a voice message, save that message as proof.

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