North Carolina Telemarketing Fraud Laws
Telemarketing fraud isn’t just annoying, it’s criminal. Smooth-talking telemarketers use fraudulent schemes to trick unsuspecting victims into sending money, or giving out their bank account or credit card numbers over the phone.
In North Carolina, telemarketing fraud can come in the form of sweepstakes or prize calls, credit repair schemes, charity scams or investment rip offs- - just to name a few. Senior citizens are particularly at risk for this type of crime. The number of telemarketing scams aimed at seniors has been on the rise, prompting warnings from the U.S. attorney.
Signing up for the Do Not Call Registry will help cut down significantly on the telemarketing calls you receive at home. Most telemarketers must take your home phone number off of their call lists if you've signed up for the Registry.
In most instances, victims will report telemarketing fraud to the federal government, but here is a general overview of North Carolina's state telemarketing laws.
The following table highlights the main provisions of the North Carolina Telephone Solicitations Act. See Federal Telemarketing Rules, Property Crimes, and White Collar Crimes for more information.
|Code Section||Article 4 - Telephone Solicitations: §75-100 et seq.|
|Enforcement Agencies||North Carolina Department of Justice|
Criminal and Civil Penalties including declaratory judgments, injunctions, individual damages, reasonable attorney's fees, and class action lawsuits.
If you have received more than one telephone call by or on behalf of the same company that is in violation of the Do Not Call law, you may go to state court to stop the entity from continuing to call you and to recover up to $500 for the first violation, $1,000 for the second, and $5,000 for the third and subsequent violations.
|Hours||Calls can only come between 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.|
|Do Not Call Registry||Consumers can register for the National "Do Not Call List." Telemarketers must stop calling you 30 days after you sign up for the list.|
|Who Can Bring an Individual Lawsuit?||The Attorney General, a county prosecutor, or individual consumer may bring a lawsuit.|
|What are the telemarketing rules?||
Federal Protections against Telemarketing Fraud
The FCC, FTC, and US Department of Justice enforce federal telemarketing laws including violations of the National "Do Not Call" Registry and deceptive business practices including:
- the FTC's Telephone Sales Rule ("TSR");
- the FCC's Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA"); and
- Fair advertising and consumer protection laws like the Federal Trade Commission Act.
If you feel you have been victimized by a telemarketing scam, here is some contact information that can help you:
- North Carolina DOJ Consumer Complaints, (919) 716-6400
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
(877) FTC-HELP, (877-382-4357)
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
(888) CALL-FCC (1-888) 225-5322
Because telemarketing laws can be complicated and constantly change, it may be a good idea to consult an experienced consumer protection lawyer in North Carolina if you have questions about your specific situation.
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