FTC Offers Consumers Tips on How to Respond to Unwanted Robocalls

Washington, DC - Illegal pre-recorded "robocalls" are a growing annoyance for millions of American consumers and the target of an enforcement crackdown by the Federal Trade Commission. What should you do when you get one of these calls?

Today, the FTC issued tips for consumers, as well as two new consumer 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 ones that consumers have 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. To date, the FTC has brought 85 enforcement cases targeting illegal robocalls, and violators have paid $41 million in penalties. Indeed, since January 2010, the Federal Trade Commission has brought law enforcement actions, shutting down the companies responsible for more than 2.6 billion illegal telemarketing robocalls.

Additional information