Dealing with harassing phone calls can be tough, especially if you don’t know the proper ways to do so. One wrong move and you may be swarmed with even more unwanted phone calls. Find out how you can stop receiving harassing phone calls and if you can be compensated for your troubles.
How Do You Block Your Phone Number?
You have a choice when it comes to receiving telemarketing calls. Under the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), you can block your phone number by placing yourself of the national Do Not Call Registry. The Federal Trade Commission operates the registry. Registering your landline or cell phone is free. After your telephone number has been on the Do Not Call Registry for 31 days, you can report telemarketers that continue to call you.
You have rights when it comes to telemarketer harassment. In addition to reporting telemarketers that continue to call you, there are other legal remedies available to you. You can go after telemarketers in court if they break the law. It pays to fight back against unwanted calls. In some cases, you can get up to $1,500 — for each illegal telemarketing call or text.
What Can I Do About Harassing Phone Calls?
Harassing phone calls and text messages can be very annoying. They interrupt you at work, call you during dinner and may even wake you up out of a peaceful slumber. Additionally, many of these phone calls are from scammers. Fortunately, you can get rid of harassing telemarketers’ phone calls.
The first step in dealing with harassment from telemarketers is to get on the national Do Not Call Registry. This registry was established by the United States Federal Government to give consumers a choice about receiving sales calls.
After you have been on the Do Not Call Registry for 31 days, the calls are supposed to stop. However, many telemarketers merely ignore the law. They think that they can get away with it or don’t care. If the calls continue, you should take the following actions:
- Take note of the day and time of the call. Also, keep a record of the telephone number and name of the person calling.
- Report the illegal calls here.
- Contact a TCPA attorney to discuss your rights under the law and determine if you are eligible for receiving compensation due to the harassment.
It is essential to follow through on reporting telemarketers that harass you. Otherwise, they will not stop. Also, you have the right to be compensated for harassing telemarketers’ telephone calls from solicitors. In some cases, the compensation is up to $1,500 for each telephone call or text that you receive.
How Can You Block a Number From Your Cell Phone?
One of the most serious problems that consumers have is unwanted telephone calls. If you get an unwelcome telephone call on your cell phone, tell the caller that you don’t want to be called again and ask that they put you on their internal do not call list. Next, you block future calls by placing yourself on the national Do Not Call Registry. Within 31 days after you sign up for the Do Not Call Registry, the calls should stop.
If — after 31 days of being on the national Do Not Call Registry, you continue to receive solicitations phone calls to your cell phone, you should contact a TCPA attorney. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act was established in 1991. This law severely restricts the actions of telemarketers. It also places limits on sales calls made with auto-dialers or artificial or pre-recorded voices.
An attorney can help you fight back against telemarketers and make money doing so. When a telemarketer calls you illegally, they are subject to pay as much as $1,500 — for each telephone call or text message they make to your phone.
Who is the FCC?
The FCC, or the Federal Communications Commission, is the government agency that regulates television, telephone, radio, cable and satellite communication. The FCC overseas communication in all 50 states of the U.S. and the District of Columbia.
The FCC is the agency that is responsible for overseeing marketing communications. Congress established the TCPA or Telephone Consumer Protection Act in 1991 to regulate the growing number of problems with telemarketing calls. The TCPA also places limits on robocalls or using an artificial message or automatic dialing system when making marketing calls. Telemarketers must follow specific rules when calling customers and leads. They must:
- Obtain prior written consent to place robo calls to landlines
- Not call cell phones using a robo caller
- Provide consumers with an automated opt-out function during each robocall
- Not send an unsolicited advertisement to a fax machine
The Federal Communications Commission also maintains the national Do Not Call Registry. Telemarketers are prohibited from calling phone numbers listed on the national registry. Telemarketers and solicitors that call people on the do not call list could face lawsuits from private consumers and the FCC.
How Do You Report a Phone Number to the Police?
Are you being harassed by unwanted telephone calls? Harassment can come in many forms. It can include telephone calls or text messages. The messages don’t need to be threatening to be considered harassment.
Harassment can consist of spam, threatening debt collection calls and relentless telemarketing calls. Continually hounding someone via a telephone call or text message is not legal. You do have rights and should fight back. Here are the specific steps that you should take to deal with the harassment.
- Keep a copy of each message – Keep a copy of each threatening or harassing message. Also, obtain proof if you are being attacked on social media or through the internet. You could take screenshots of the harassing messages.
- Take note of the date, time and telephone number of each call – Ask for the person’s name or the company name and take that down as well.
- Don’t respond to the text messages or telephone calls – Instead, tell the person to stop calling. If it is a company or telemarketer doing the harassing, then ask them to place you on their internal do not call list.
- Register your cell, and home phone numbers on the national Do Not Call Registry – This list is maintained by the federal government. Telemarketers are prohibited from calling or texting people on the list.
- File a complaint with the FCC – if the business or company keeps calling after you have been on the Do Not Call Registry for at least 31 days.
- Report the harassment to the police – Take copies of all of the evidence that you have gathered so far and make a police report. When making the report, speak clearly and calmly and provide as much information as possible.
- Contact an attorney – If you have done all of the above steps and you continue to receive harassing telephone calls, the next step is to contact an attorney. A lawyer can help you understand what your legal rights are and how to build a case of harassment against a person or company.