HLF Blog

3 Ways to Reduce Telemarketing Calls

If you own or have access to a telephone, you have probably experienced an increase in telemarketing calls during the last few years. These unsolicited calls are often from telemarketers or automated telephone dialers called robocalls. Legally for appointment setting, surveying, tele-sales, and calls to action, they have provided a vehicle now used for nefarious means. Not only are most of these calls unwelcome and intrusive, but they can also be the source of scams or other types of fraud. The good news is, you can reduce or eliminate these calls from your life. Discover three ways to try. 1.  Sign Up With the National Do Not Call Registry Register all of your telephone numbers with the National Do Not Call Registry by going to DoNotCall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236). While your numbers will be immediately in the system, you often will have to wait about a month for the sales calls to slow down or come to a stop. Any number is eligible to add. These include your cell phone, home phone, and business phone. Unfortunately, registering your phones may not provide the relief you seek. While this should reduce the number of calls you receive from legitimate businesses, scammers and businesses you have previously done business with may continue to call. Other types of calls you may continue to receive even if you are on the registry include: Informational callsPolitical callsCharitable callsDebt collection calls You also have the right to request these agencies do not call you, but you have no way to do so nationally.  2.  Block the Calls If you continue to receive unwanted calls, these are usually from scammers. Many of them use spoofing technology to make these calls appear to come from a number you know and trust or from a familiar area code. This...

Are You Experiencing Telemarketer Abuse?

Phones provide a great way for telemarketers to abuse you, and with the rise of cellphones, they can reach you from anywhere. If you would like to learn more to better protect yourself against fraud and abuse, keep reading. What is Telemarketing Abuse? Telemarking abuse comes in many forms. Telemarketers have a lot of rules to follow, such as not calling at specific times and not calling once you've asked them to stop calling you. Breaking these rules can constitute telemarketing abuse. For instance, some aggressive companies may keep calling you to try and sell you the same product again and again, refusing to take no for an answer. Additionally, telemarketing abuse is often associated with scams. Many scams claim you won a free prize or vacation, but you have to pay fees before you can get the prize. This can be incredibly dangerous if you give the scammer your credit card or bank account information to pay for the fees. Some scammers may even record you saying "yes," to a seemingly harmless question like, "Can you hear me?" They then use that to try and prove you verified a purchase or charge. You can often spot scammers easily because they usually want to be paid in ways that are hard to trace such as gift cards or cryptocurrency. How Do Robocalls Work? Robocalls are highly associated with scams because they are so easy to send en masse. Scammers buy a list of leads that provides phone numbers. They then usually use computer software to send out the calls to everyone on the list. The computer software can also change the phone number, so the caller thinks the call is local. If you fall for the initial scam, you will likely be transferred to a real person who will then...

4 Examples of Telemarketer Abuse

Many people pray on others to try and steal their money or identity. Telemarketer scams have been around for a long time, and they don’t seem to be going away any time soon. Therefore, if you would like to better protect yourself, check out these four examples of telemarketing scams. 1. Paying for a Prize Many scams are built on a so-called free prize. The prize may be a free trial or a trip/timeshare. However, when you get down to the nitty-gritty, the prize isn't free at all. With free trials, in many cases, the scammer signs you up for lots of other products that you must pay for each month. With travel scams and timeshare scams, you often have to pay upfront only to find out there is no trip or timeshare. 2. Imposters Imposter scams include a wide range of scenarios, but they all have one thing in common: the person calling you is an imposter. Older people may get calls from fake family members who need financial help. They rely on the fact that an older person may not know all their nieces, nephews, and grandchildren, but they will still want to help any struggling family members. However, imposters can pose as anyone. Some pose as actual government representatives like an IRS agent. If they can fool you, they may be able to get your Social Security number and other personal information so they can steal your identity. In some cases, these scammers use technology to make it look like they are calling from a reputable company. 3. Debt Relief and Credit Repair Scams Many Americans struggle with debt. Unfortunately, that has created a whole group of scammers who pretend they can help reduce your debt. Typically, you pay the debt relief company, and they work with...

FAQ ABOUT THE NATIONAL DO NOT CALL REGISTRY

With the rise of technology, unwanted calls are more and more common thanks to robocalls and other telemarketing tactics. These calls are often bothersome, and many are linked to scams. If you are sick of getting unwanted telemarketing calls, check out these four commonly asked questions to learn about what you can to do to protect yourself. 1. Why Was the Registry Created? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) created the National Do Not Call Registry in 2003. This registry was incorporated into the already established Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991, which already listed rules to limit pre-recorded messages and automatic-dial calls from telemarketers. Consumers can add their number to the registry, and telemarketers can cross-check this list. According to the TCPA, telemarketers should not call these numbers. Unfortunately, many ignore these laws, especially scammers. However, the TCPA allows you to seek financial retribution if a telemarketer contacts you after your name is on the registry. 2. What Should You Do If Someone Keeps Calling? If a telemarketer keeps calling you, add your name to the Do Not Call Registry. Additionally, keep all relevant information. This information often includes the name of the caller, the name of the business, how often they call, and when they call. Make sure to save all voicemails, text messages, and any written communication. If you continue to get calls after adding your name to the registry, report the number to the registry. You usually won't hear back from the FTC due to the large number of reports they receive, but they will still us the information to trace the call and identify trends. They also release the reported numbers to phone providers. If telemarketers continue to harass you, you can sue them thanks to the TCPA. You can receive up to $500 each...

UNDERSTANDING THE TELEPHONE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT

If you receive robocalls on a regular basis, you may be wondering if there is anything you can do to prevent them. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act TCPA, however, was designed to do just that. If you are sick of receiving constant unwanted calls from telemarketers or debt collectors, keep reading to learn more about the TCPA. What Types of Calls Are Included in the Act? The types of calls included in the TCPA are telemarking calls, auto-dialed calls, pre-recorded calls, and text messages. This act also created the National Do Not Call Registry. In general, the act is designed to give you an option to block robocalls, and it puts strict limitations on robocalls, especially robocalls to cellphones. This act even protects you in the event of unwanted credit collection calls. However, it only covers calls to your cellphone, and you must have never given oral or written consent that the lender could call you. Calls that are exempt from the act include robocalls to wireless phones, calls made for research purposes, and calls designed to alert you of fraud. What Are the Other Rules of the Act? The act also created a few more rules to protect people from robocalls and potential scams. First, it prohibits callers from calling before 8 am and after 9 pm. Telemarketers are also prohibited from sending unsolicited fax messages. If you do answer the call, however, the act protects you further. If a telemarketer or debt collector calls, they cannot refuse to give you their name, organization for which they are calling, and the contact information. In fact, they are supposed to give you their name and the business for which they are calling at the start of the call, and they must provide the address and phone number of the company...

What You Should Know About Debt Collector Harassment

As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on people's personal finances and employment, some 51 million Americans found themselves accumulating extra debt in their efforts to weather the storm. If you count yourself among them, you may have struggled to repay the debt or even make minimum payments. After a debt goes unpaid for a certain length of time, you can expect debt collectors to contact you and request payment. However, these debt collectors must adhere to certain rules of conduct. If you feel abused by constant threatening calls, you should understand the following key points about debt collector harassment. What Debt Collectors Can Legally Do Debt collectors and creditors have certain rights, just as debtors do. These agents can request payment on an overdue debt via phone, text, or email. If you refuse to respond, they can sell your debt to another organization. Agents for this organization may then pick up with their requests where the previous agent left off. Even if you feel harassed by what feels like a flood of phone calls and letters, these repeated requests and reminders may fall completely within the debt collector's legal rights. As a last-ditch attempt to get the money owed, a debt collector may file a lawsuit, possibly resulting in bank levies or wage garnishment. What Debt Collectors Can't Legally Do Although debt collectors may try to reach you on a daily basis if they so choose, they can't call you any time of the day or night. According to the Federal Trade Commission, these agents can only call you between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. local time. Calling outside of those hours constitutes debt collector harassment. Debt collectors can't use threats, verbal abuse, or other scare tactics to intimidate you into a response, although they may objectively...

PERSONAL INJURY

HLF helps people recover financial compensation for their injuries.  Whether you were injured in an auto accident, experienced a workplace accident, or a slip and fall, our attorneys will review your case and determine if you have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit. Negligence occurs when a person or a company or corporation fails to act in a safe manner, resulting in the harm to a person.  For example, if a driver fails to follow the speed limit, or sends text messages while driving, and causes a car accident, he or she may be held financially liable in court for any injuries caused to other drivers or pedestrians. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals must maintain a higher standard of care than the average person – because they are tending to the physical needs of their patients.  These professionals are required to provide medical care that adheres to accepted standards of medical practices.  When they fail to act responsibly, resulting in injuries to a patient, medical malpractice may have occurred. If you were injured due to negligent or reckless behavior involving someone else, HLF’s personal injury attorneys may be able to help you receive compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses.  Call HLF at 1-202-234-2727 or fill out HLF’s FREE CONSULTATION form.

PERSONS WHO RECEIVED TELEMARKETING CALLS ON BEHALF OF BIRCH COMMUNICATIONS MAY QUALIFY FOR PAYMENTS UNDER A RECENT ANTI-TELEMARKETING SETTLEMENT.

Persons who received telemarketing calls on behalf of Birch Communications may qualify for payments under a recent anti-telemarketing settlement. This robocall class action lawsuit was brought by plaintiff Abante Rooter and Plumbing, a California-based plumbing business owned by Fred Heidarpour. Abante alleged that defendant Birch Communications, a firm that provides technology and telecommunications services to businesses, placed a telemarketing call to an Abante-owned mobile phone in September 2015. The Abante representative who took the call allegedly heard a click and a long pause before hearing a response. The click and pause were evidence that the call was placed using an automatic telephone dialing system, the plaintiff claimed. Abante said it never gave Birch Communications its consent to be contacted in this manner. By making such automatically-dialed and unconsented calls, Birch Communications was allegedly in violation of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA. Generally, the TCPA forbids callers from using certain automated equipment or prerecorded messages to place calls to persons who have not previously and expressly consented to being called that way. The TCPA also provided legal authority to set up the National Do Not Call Registry. Telemarketers that call numbers listed on that registry may be in violation of the TCPA. Persons who receive calls that violate the TCPA may be able to bring a civil TCPA lawsuit against the caller. Plaintiffs may be able to take advantage of the TCPA’s statutory damages provisions, which provide for $500 to $1,500 in damages for each violating call. Before filing this TCPA lawsuit, Abante wrote to Birch Communications asking if Birch had Abante’s prior express consent to place robocalls to Abante. Birch responded – incorrectly – that the TCPA does not apply to business numbers. Under terms of this TCPA class action settlement, Birch Communications has agreed to set up a...

CENTRAL PAYMENT CO. SETTLES TCPA CLASS ACTION FOR $6.5 MILLION

BY KATHRYN RATTIGAN ON MAY 11, 2017POSTED IN ENFORCEMENT & LITIGATION, TELEPHONE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT Last week, Georgia federal judge, U.S. District Judge Clay D. Land, approved the final order and judgment to settle class action claims that Central Payment Co. LLC (Central Payment) violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for $6.5 million. Lead plaintiff, Fred Heidarpour, claimed that Central Payment violated the TCPA by hiring third parties to ‘cold call’ prospective clients using prerecorded telemarketing calls without the required prior consent. This class action was filed back in August 2015. Discovery in this case revealed that more than 27 million attempted prerecorded calls had been made on behalf of Central Payment during the proposed class period. Judge Land approved the settlement, and dismissed the case with prejudice, after no objections were received from over 310,000 proposed settlement class members. He found that the settlement was fair, adequate, reasonable and in the best interests of the settlement class. Members of the settlement class have been defined as any individual or entity who, at any time between August 18, 2011, to the date of the settlement agreement, received one or more telemarketing calls from Korthals LLC on behalf of Central Payment. It also includes individuals who received these calls, but were on the national do-not-call registry. All settlement class members will receive equal shares after payments for notice, administration, attorneys’ fees and costs, and plaintiff’s service payments are distributed. Counsel for plaintiff is permitted to collect a maximum of $2,166,666 in attorneys’ fees along with out-of-pocket expenses of up to $44,000. Heidarpour will be awarded an incentive of $25,000 “in light of the service performed by plaintiff for the class.”

NEW YORK LIFE TELEMARKETING CALLS CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT

By Paul TassinJuly 6, 2017 Persons who received telemarketing calls from New York Life may be entitled to compensation under terms of a TCPA class action settlement. Plaintiff Abante Rooter and Plumbing Inc. filed this anti-telemarketing class action lawsuit in May 2016. The company alleged defendant New York Life unlawfully placed calls to mobile phone numbers that had been listed on the National Do Not Call Registry. Abante Rooter also claimed New York Life placed calls using automatic dialing equipment or prerecorded announcements to persons who had not consented to receiving such calls. In filing this action against New York Life, Abante Rooter took advantage of the civil suit provisions of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA. Originally passed in 1991, the TCPA established the National Do Not Call Registry. Persons who do not want to receive unsolicited telemarketing calls may list their phone numbers on this registry to let telemarketers know their calls are not welcome at that number. The TCPA also requires companies to maintain their own records of persons who have opted out of receiving telemarketing calls. Another provision of the TCPA restricts callers from using automated dialing equipment and artificial or prerecorded voices when calling persons who have not expressly consented to being called that way. The TCPA has been updated to apply this prohibition to calls and text messages placed to mobile phone numbers. Persons who receive contacts that violate the TCPA may be able to sue for statutory damages of $500 to $1,500 per violation. Abante Rooter and New York Life agreed to the current TCPA class action settlement following an October 2016 mediation session. Under terms of the settlement, New York Life has agreed to put up a settlement fund totaling $3.35 million. This fund will cover payments to qualifying Class Members after...

HTTP://WWW.LAW360.COM/ARTICLES/624303/VIVINT-SETTLES-ROBOCALLING-CLASS-ACTION-FOR-6M

Law360, New York (February 24, 2015, 3:35 PM EST) — A Florida federal judge on Monday finally approved a $6 million settlement and certified a nationwide class of consumers who received autodialed or pre-recorded calls from Vivint Inc. or affiliate marketers, ending a suit that accused the home automation and security company of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. U.S. District Judge William J. Zloch certified a nationwide class of consumers who, beginning in September 2008, had received a telemarketing call from Vivint or its marketing affiliates that used a pre-recorded message or was made with

HTTPS://WWW.BIGCLASSACTION.COM/SETTLEMENT/ADT-ROBOCALLS-CLASS-ACTION-LAWSUIT-TCPA.PHP

ADT REACHES PRELIMINARY $15M SETTLEMENT IN ROBOCALLS CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT April 22 2013 New York, NY: A preliminary settlement has been reached in the class action lawsuit pending against ADS Security alleging the company engaged in telemarketing calls to consumers in violation of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Entitled Vishva Desai v. ADT Security Services Inc., the lawsuit claims that certain ADT authorized dealers or lead generators, seeking to sell ADT’s products and services, made numerous calls to consumers via automated dialing technology (robocalling) leaving pre-recorded messages. The settlement would resolve a lawsuit brought on behalf of individuals who received telemarketing phone calls that either (1) delivered a pre-recorded message or (2) were made to a cell phone using automated dialing equipment (commonly referred to as “robocalls”), which allegedly were made by Persons or entities seeking to sell products and services of ADT Security Services, Inc. (now known as The ADT Corporation or ADT, LLC, collectively “ADT” or “ADT Security Services, Inc.”). If you received one of these phone calls since January 1, 2007, you may be eligible to participate in the settlement. If the settlement is approved a settlement fund of $15 million would be established by ADT to be divided among eligible class members. The amount to be paid per plaintiff would be determined by the number of eligible class members. It is estimated based on typical response rates that each claimant is likely to receive between $50.00 and $100.00, but the amount could be higher or lower based on the actual number of valid claim forms. However, in no event will you be entitled to receive more than the statutory maximum of $500.00. A final fairness hearing is scheduled for June 10, 2013. The Court did not decide in favor of the Plaintiffs or the Defendant. Instead, both sides...

HTTPS://TOPCLASSACTIONS.COM/LAWSUIT-SETTLEMENTS/CLOSED-SETTLEMENTS/329136-INTERSTATE-NATIONAL-DEALER-SERVICES-TCPA-CLASS-ACTION-SETTLEMENT/;

Interstate National Dealer Services Inc. has agreed to pay $4.2 million to settle a class action lawsuit that claimed the auto warranty company violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Lead plaintiff Diana Mey filed the TCPA class action lawsuit after allegedly receiving a phone call from Interstate to her cellphone which was a number registered on the National Do Not Call Registry. Mey says that Interstate was attempting to sell her an extended warranty on her car and were in possession of her vehicle information (including her VIN number) regardless of the fact that she had never made an inquiry about a warranty. Interstate maintains that it did not make any unsolicited telemarketing calls, or authorize any service providers to do so. However, they have agreed to the settlement to avoid the cost of further litigation. Class Members who wish to “opt out” or object to the TCPA settlement must do so by Mar. 24, 2016. WHO’S ELIGIBLE The Interstate TCPA class action settlement is open to all Class Members who received one (or more) solicitation calls from Interstate between June 12, 2010 and Jan. 28, 2016 to a phone number that was listed on the National Do Not Call Registry. In addition, the TCPA settlement is also open to all Class Members who received a call from Interstate on their cell phone. POTENTIAL AWARD Varies. Interstate has agreed to establish a $4.2 million Settlement Fund. All Class Members who submit a valid and timely Claim Form will receive an equal portion of the settlement once the Court gives final approval.

TELEMARKETER ABUSE CASES

Heidarpour Law Firm handles lawsuits for consumers who have received unwanted calls from debt collectors, banks and other companies on their cell phones. Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), individuals must provide consent to receive certain types of telephone calls, and you have the right to tell these companies, including debt collectors, to discontinue calling you. IF YOU RECEIVED UNWANTED CALLS TO YOUR CELL PHONE, GET MORE INFORMATION  AT HLF’S WEBSITE DEVOTED EXCLUSIVELY TO THESE TYPES OF CASES AT HTTP://REPORTTELEMARKETERABUSE.COM. HLF assists people who are wrongly contacted by companies looking for a different person, as well as those who were contacted after first requesting that a company stop calling them.  Anyone who was called on a wireless number, whether personal or business, may have a claim as well, if the telemarketing company did not receive the called party’s prior express written consent. Telephone Consumer Protection Act: Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established rules addressing “robocalling” or unsolicited automated messages used by telemarketers in 1991.  The Unwanted Telephone Marketing Calls Guide on the FCC website lists three rules all telemarketers must follow: 1. “Anyone making a telephone solicitation call must provide his or her name, the name of the person or entity on whose behalf the call is being made, and a telephone number of address at which that person or entity can be contacted 2. Telephone solicitation calls are prohibited before 8 am or after 9 pm. 3. Telemarketers must comply immediately with any do-not-call request you make during a solicitation call. 4. Telemarketers, when calling ANY wireless number for solicitation services, must receive the called parties prior express written consent.” Know Your Rights Or Debt Collectors Win: Debt collection agencies rake in money.  Big money.  It’s a $13 billion industry.  But those numbers – as staggering as they are –...

BANKRUPTCY

You should be aware of a few differences between Chapters 7, 11, and 13.  Bankruptcy is a process in which individuals or businesses declare themselves “no longer able” to make payments on outstanding debts that they owe.  The process of bankruptcy prohibits collection agencies and creditors from contacting you regarding your debts, and this process also releases you from certain types of debts. The difference between filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy are your income level, your current debts, and your financial goals and assets.  Individuals who fall below a certain level of income can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, while those who don’t can instead file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to help those who make little to no money at all, to pay back their debts.  Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed for debtors who are able to pay back a portion of their debts, through a repayment plan.  That means that if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will have your assets liquidated, if any.  While if you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you retain and restructure your assets to pay off some of your debt. Call HLF at 1-202-234-2727 or fill out HLF’s FREE CONSULTATION form.