Pre-recorded “robocalls” are a growing annoyance for millions of American consumers and the Federal Trade Commission said the intrusive and often illegal practice is the target of an enforcement crackdown.
The FTC issued tips for consumers today, along with two new education videos explaining robocalls and describing what consumers should do when they receive one.
The agency also is hosting a robocall summit later this year to develop new strategies to stop illegal robocalls.
“The FTC hears from American consumers every day about illegal robocalls and how intrusive they are,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “We’re ratcheting up our efforts to stop this invasion of consumers’ privacy.”
The agency’s two new consumer videos, “Robocalls Gone Wrong” and “What To Do if You Get a Robocall,” are located on a new FTC robocalls web page, which has more information about robocalls and what the FTC is doing to protect consumers.
Nearly all telemarketing robocalls have been illegal since September 1, 2009.
The only legal sales robocalls are those consumers have previously stated in writing that they want to receive.
Certain other types of robocalls, such as political calls, survey calls, and charitable calls remain legal, and are not covered by the 2009 ban.
The FTC has brought 85 enforcement cases targeting illegal robocalls, and violators have paid $41 million in penalties.
Since January 2010, the agency has shut down companies responsible for more than 2.6 billion illegal telemarketing robocalls.
In short, here’s what do when you get a robocall:
- Hang Up. Do not press 1 or any other numbers to get off the list.
- Consider blocking the number.
- Report it to the FTC.
For more info on what to do: