Illegal robocalls are reaching epidemic proportion in South Florida—the 305 and 854 area codes alone collectively rank fifth among the top 20 U.S. cities for volume of scam calls in August. Nationally, about 30.5 billion unwanted automated calls were made in 2017, up by 19 percent over the previous year. Worse still, predictions put the relentless barrage of unwanted calls making up nearly half—45 percent—of all calls received by phone owners in 2019.
“Year after year, the scam-call epidemic bombards consumers at record-breaking levels, surpassing the previous year and scammers increasingly invade our privacy at new extremes,” says Charles D. Morgan, CEO and head data scientist of First Orion—a developer of call management software that works with cell providers and consumers.
These companies are often times operating on the wrong side of the law, many relying on unscrupulous practices to target specific groups such as students, business owners, and immigrant workers. If you’ve received an unwanted robocall or robotext from a company to which you did not give permission, you may have been a victim of fraud or the target of an unlawful action.
It’s important to realize that not all robocalls are illegal. Some legitimate calls from banks, debt collectors or health insurance, could be on the up-and-up. The key to discerning legal robocalls and robotexts is that they must be authorized by the owner of the number—any other action violates the 1991 law called the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
The good news is that some of the worst offenders are being brought to justice. Earlier in 2018, one Miami man ultimately responsible for making nearly 100 million robocalls in 2015 and 2016 was fined $120 million by the FCC. “[He] is the perpetrator of one of the largest—and most dangerous—illegal robocalling campaigns that the Commission has ever investigated,” said the FCC after handing down its citation.
Good to know that entities like the FCC are making efforts to stop such calls, but it’s obviously not enough. If you are or have been a victim of unsolicited robocalls or faxes soliciting some type of business product or service, an experienced attorney with Baron & Herskowitz can help you understand all potential legal options. Please contact our firm for a free and confidential legal consultation. To reach one of our attorneys directly, you may call (305) 670-0101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.