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Tell Congress About Telemarketing and Make a Difference
Ready to take real action against telemarketing?
You probably landed on this website because you searched for a phone number that called you. How bad has telemarketing gotten that you had to protect yourself by searching the phone numbers that call you to see if it was a scam? More importantly, why isn’t Congress doing anything about it? If you’re annoyed enough, perhaps you’re ready to take real action. That’s right – contact your Congressman and Senator. If enough of us scream about this, perhaps your tax dollars will help make your life a little more enjoyable – after all, these calls are interfering with your right to pursue happiness.
First, you might want to educate yourself a little. There are essentially two types of illegal phone calls that annoy us everyday. The first type of call comes from a US based company that does not follow the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991. You can easily sue these telemarketers if they don’t follow the law and make a few thousand dollars (if you can get their contact information). The second type comes from non-US-based telemarketers that don’t have to follow our laws. These represent the bulk of the phone numbers that people complain about on no-more-calls.com
and other phone number websites. These overseas telemarketers typically use “Caller ID Spoofing
” to change what is displayed on your caller ID. Spoofing companies sell this service to anyone that doesn’t want their real caller ID information to display on your phone – and it is illegal and punishable with fines up to $10,000 per occurrence. You can report these violations to the FCC
. Note that his is different than the Do Not Call list
(governed by the FTC, not the FCC) which only applies to US-based telemarketers calling residential phone lines.
So why do you still get these calls? We believe it’s because the wrong people are being held accountable. The law, called “Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009
”, makes it illegal “to cause any caller identification service to knowingly transmit misleading or inaccurate caller identification information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value….” Penalties or criminal fines of up to $10,000 per violation (not to exceed $1,000,000) could be imposed. Well, we can’t impose those fines on the non-US telemarketers because they’re not bound by our laws. So we want congress to impose those penalties on the companies that are enabling the overseas telemarketers. These are the carriers of the phone numbers and the companies that are doing the spoofing and these companies are profiting from these illegal calls. If the carriers and the spoofing companies are held liable, then heavy fines would stop the technology companies from providing an illegal service.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Find your local congressman on house.gov and senate.gov. Enter your zip code in the upper right.
- Go to his / her websites and fill-out their contact forms. Make sure you use your full address. Congress will not consider letters from outside their constituency.
- Copy this letter into their contact form and send:
The Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 has done very little to stop illegal calls to my phone. These calls are a continuous distraction to nearly every US citizen’s life, cost businesses time and money, and are entirely unwanted. Please revise the legislation to make the phone carriers and spoofing companies liable for enabling these illegal calls. While the Telephone Consumer Protection Act has significantly reduce the number of unproductive calls from US-based companies, it has not affected the number of illegal calls citizens receive from non-US-based telemarketers and scammers. There is apparently no legislation in place that can effectively stop non-US-based companies from invading our phone systems. Yet there are companies that are allowed to provide and enable these telemarketers with simple technology and profit from the annoyance of others. Why?
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