Telemarketing fraud in Florida refers to any type of fraudulent scheme in which a con artist communicates with potential victims on the telephone. Criminals use this method as a way to obtain a victim’s credit card information, identity, or bank account numbers.
Con artists are often time very good at disguising a fraudulent telemarketing call as "legitimate." They can use high pressure sales tactics or are trained to "never take no for an answer." Some examples of telemarketing fraud include:
1) Sweepstakes or prize calls;
2) Get rich quick schemes;
3) Credit repair schemes;
4) Vacation investment rip offs such as timeshares.
In Florida, telemarketing calls are regulated under a series of laws known as the "Florida Telemarketing Act" and the "Florida Telephonic Sales" law. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs and the Attorney General investigate alleged violations to assess administrative, civil, and criminal penalties against violators.
In most instances, victims will report telemarketing fraud to the federal government, but here is a general overview of Florida's state telemarketing laws.
Florida's State-Wide "Do Not Call" List
Florida has its own "Do Not Call" list. Florida residents who don't want to get sales calls can have their home and mobile/paging device number(s) included on this list for five years. The National "Do Not Call Registry" is also available to help consumers block unwanted telemarketing calls at home.
The following table highlights the main provisions of the "Florida Telemarketing Act" and "Telemarketing Sales" laws.
||Florida Attorney General, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
||Injunction, Criminal and Civil Penalties.
||Calls can only come between 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
|Do Not Call Registry
||Florida has a statewide "Do Not Call" list. Consumers can also register for the National "Do Not Call" list.
|What is Required?
Within the first 30 seconds of the call, salesperson must state his or her true name, the company that he or she is representing, and
the products or services being sold. Also prohibits the use of an automated solicitation device with a recorded message. Businesses must be licensed and post a bond within the state. If a consumer does agree to enter into a purchase agreement, the salesperson must tell the consumer his or her cancellation rights, the license # of both the business and the salesperson, as well as the street address of the business.
The business or salesperson can never require that payment be made by credit card or even state that this is their preferred method of payment.
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Florida Telemarketing Fraud Laws: Related Resources
Charged with Telemarketing Fraud in Florida? Get in Touch with a Lawyer
Telemarketing fraud laws can sometimes get complicated. If you or someone you love has been charged under Florida's telemarketing fraud laws, it's a good idea to contact a local criminal defense lawyer who can review your case, explain the law and any possible defenses, and advocate for you in court.