A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report reveals that consumer complaints about harassing unwanted automated telemarketing calls jumped significantly in 2017, and have quadrupled since 2009. There were a total of 4.5 million robocall complaints last year, and the agency received an additional 2.5 million complaints about live telemarketing calls; on average, the FTC received over 375,000 per month.
Due to cheap access to internet calling services and autodialing, as well as spammers having the ability to hide their true identity and location, the amount of robocalls have been steadily increasing over time. People have reported more “neighborhood” number spoofing, with calls appearing to come from a local area code. The spam calls cover a wide array of unwanted and intrusive advertising, including debt reduction, vacations and timeshares, warranties and protection plans, prescription medication, and “imposter” calls from businesses, the government, or even imposter calls seeming to originate from family and friends.
Most robocalls are illegal regardless of whether or not recipients’ numbers are on the National Do Not Call Registry. Fines for offenders have increased, and phone companies have introduced scam blocking tools to try to prevent robocalls. In March, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had also passed an anti-robocalling rule, which permitted phone companies to block calls from spoof nonexistent numbers. Despite heightened penalties and increased defensive measures, little effect has been seen and irritating, intrusive and offensive robocalls continue to plague consumers nationwide. Even lawsuits resulting in multiple-million dollar verdicts and settlements against advertisers seem to be unable to stem the rising tide. Nevertheless, consumers have few other weapons at their disposal, and the lawsuits work a deterrent effect against the more prominent violators and provide the added benefit of financial remuneration to consumers.
Lieff Cabraser’s Anti-Robocall Work on Behalf of Consumers
Lieff Cabraser has spearheaded a series of groundbreaking and successful class actions against robocall abusers under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), which prohibits abusive telephone practices by lenders and marketers, and places strict limits on the use of autodialers to call or send texts or robocalls to cell phones.
Lieff Cabraser is currently investigating complaints that other financial institutions and companies are making pre-recorded phone calls related to loans or credit card offers to customers’ cellular phones without their prior express consent. If you have received such a call, or similar text messages, please contact a national consumer protection attorney for a free, no-obligation review of your case.
Lieff Cabraser champions the rights of consumers across America and has successfully prosecuted scores of consumer class action lawsuits against many of the largest U.S. banks, financial service companies, and corporations. Working with co-counsel, we have achieved judgments and settlements in excess of $3 billion for consumers in these cases. Learn more about Lieff Cabraser’s consumer protection practice.