Telemarketing: Dealing with Unwanted Telemarketing Calls
Publication Date: January 2004
Publisher(s): Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service
In recent years, Congress has enacted several federal laws addressing telemarketing fraud and practices. As a result, both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have established regulations covering the $720 billion telemarketing industry in the United States. It is estimated that consumers lose over $40 billion a year to fraudulent telemarketers. Although the vast majority of telemarketers are legitimate business people attempting to sell a particular product or service, there are unscrupulous individuals and companies violating telemarketing rules and promoting various fraudulent schemes aimed at parting consumers from their money.
The FCC, FTC, and several consumer groups and government/business partnerships identified in this report provide extensive information on telemarketing. This report provides summaries of the federal laws and regulations particular to telemarketing, the establishment of a national do-not-call registry, and on the options that are available to consumers to attempt to limit the calls that they receive from telemarketers and to report questionable telemarketing practices to local or federal authorities. The report also lists sources of additional information with addresses, phone numbers, and Internet sites (if available) and will be updated as legislation or news events warrant.