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New Ban on Robo-Calls effective September 1st

PHONESCAM.JPG A new ban on robo-calls, or prerecorded messages, went into effect September 1, 2009. Companies can no longer make robo-calls without written consent from the consumer first. Without this consent, a telemarketer can face a penalty of up to $16,000 per call. The ban is one of many amendments that were made to the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule, which were announced last year in the Federal Register.

Some companies have already faced litigation for making robo-calls. Transcontinental Warranty, Inc., is now banned from making robo-calls to scam consumers into purchasing vehicle service contracts. The FTC sued Transcontinental Warranty, Inc., earlier this year in response to numerous complaints received about the company's calls.

Not all types of prerecorded calls are banned, such as calls from banks or charities. The rule applies mostly to telemarketing calls from businesses.

Consumers who receive robo-calls without their consent can file a complaint with the FTC either at donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222.

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