Robocalls happen to all types of landline, mobile and VoIP phones in Minnesota. The phone numbers are real, but the messages are generic and unsolicited. Although telemarketing is legal, the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, sets rules and regulations for making unsolicited calls.
The U.S. government has enacted several anti-telemarketing laws, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA, that restricts certain telemarketing practices. This law requires that telemarketers cannot use automatic phone dialing systems or prerecorded messages to harass individuals over the phone.
Additional rules require that companies who solicit over the telephone must maintain do-not-call lists of individuals who do not want to be called. Telemarketers can be fined if they fail to place clients who make the request in the national Do-Not-Call registry.
Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the FCC is allowed to issue million-dollar fines and felony charges against people who violate their rules. They have a team of professionals who specialize in finding the originators of spam calls. In addition, a person or company whose rights are violated under the TCPA may sue the telemarketer for $500 or more for each violation.
How federal laws are making changes
Robocalls make it easier for telemarketers to spam consumers with hundreds up to thousands of unwanted phone calls in a short period of time. The FCC started fighting back with the TCPA of 1991, and with every new violation, they have made continuous updates over a decade or so. This law and do-not-call lists are the most common methods used today to protect individuals and businesses from abusive telemarketing practices.