In the federal telecommunications statue is an obscure provision that gives consumers the right to fight back. If you are the victim of illegal telemarketing you can take the offending caller to court and seek damages.
- Understand what an “auto-dialer” is.
- Auto-dialer: A machine, computer program or equipment that stores or produces lists of telephone numbers that then calls those numbers without human intervention.
- Know which calls to you are illegal.
- It is NOT illegal for a telemarketer to call a residential landline using an auto-dialer unless the phone number for that landline is listed on the National Do-Not-Call Registry at www.donotcall.gov. However, if you answer your landline only to be greeted by a pre-recorded message, that call was definitely illegal whether or not the landline number is listed on the registry.
- Identify the business that is responsible for the call.
- Document your evidence
(3) PRIVATE RIGHT OF ACTION A person or entity may, if otherwise permitted by the laws or rules of court of a State, bring in an appropriate court of that State
(A) an action based on a violation of this subsection ofr the regulations prescribed under this subsection to enjoin such violation,
(B) an action to recover for actual monetary loss from such a violation, or to receive $500 in damages for each
such violation, whichever is greater, or
(C) both such actions.
If the court finds that the defendant willfully or knowingly violated this subsection or the regulations prescribed under this subsection, the court may, in its discretion, increase the amount of the award to an amount equal to not more than 3 times the amount available under subparagraph (B) of this paragraph.