You are here

A billion illegal robocalls

Share this page

We all know that robocalls can be annoying. They can also be illegal. It’s against the rules for companies to try to sell you something under the guise of a political or charity-related robocall. But we’ve found that not everyone plays by the rules.

The FTC and 10 state attorneys general say that several companies, including Caribbean Cruise Lines, broke the law by using over a billion political survey robocalls to sell cruise vacations. The pre-recorded calls claimed to be from “John from Political Opinions of America,” and said people could get a cruise vacation if they completed a brief survey. Since the companies placing the calls used hundreds of phone numbers and changed caller ID information, the folks who received these calls couldn’t tell who was really calling.

So how do you know when a robocall is illegal? If you get a recorded call that includes a sales pitch — and you haven't given your written permission to get robocalls from the company on the other end — that’s illegal. But certain informational robocalls are permitted, like reminders for appointments. You've probably gotten robocalls about candidates running for office, or charities asking for donations; these are also allowed, as long as they’re not tacking on a sales pitch.

If you get a robocall from a company trying to sell you something, be wary about buying anything from them. Do you really want to do business with a company that’s trying to skirt the law? Let us know if you get a robocall at The FTC and other law enforcement agencies analyze complaints to spot trends and to take legal action against illegal robocalls. The FTC also is leading several initiatives to develop technology-based solutions.


I have been on the do not call list since it started, yes I refresh occasionally, I still get at least 5 robo calls a day!!!

I think this is great but the etc needs to do more with the internet. There are many companies that keep sending mail even though I have requested they stop like Bloomingdales and Wyndham vacations. It's harassment when they don't.

most legite retailers have an 'unsubscribe' or 'optout' feature. I set up a second email address that I give to most retailers who ask for an email address, and I keep one for private stuff, when I want to look at retailer's ads, I just look in the second email. This keeps the long list of ads out of my email, however, there are some retailers that send annoying, daily emails.

What about insurance salesmen that show up on your doorstep trying to sell medicare supplemental insurance when there is a large no soliciting sign at the entrance to your home. They had my name, birthdate and address and showed up unannounced.

I get 6-10 a day, some are charities asking for money, some are "computer service" callers, some are about credit cards and taxes. Unless I recognize the name AND number, I don't answer them. The charities are definitely a pain. I donate to several chosen charities some of which have apparently sold their lists and now there are literally dozens of them calling me on my home phone. I have submitted some of the worst ones to the donotcall website but nothing has changed. I have demanded to be removed from the list, but again, nothing has changed. Our telephone service is paid for out of our pockets, and we should not have to be dealing with these things. We should be able to create a list to store in our phones of numbers we accept, perhaps make our speed dial list automatically populate it as well as emergency responders, and any others can be sent to a busy signal, a message box or a recorded message that the number they reached doesn't take calls (customer choice) and they can go fly a kite!

I sent in 21 scam calls in 2 days and never heard back from anyone. The calls continue EVERYDAY and nothing has been done about these calls!!!!!!

Good job. We have had many robo calls in the past. Now we know what to do with them. It would be great if the FCC would require all calls that are made by companies be restricted to their customers signed to receive calls from them. Who pays for your phone service? You do !!!

I can not even answer my phone anymore unless I recognize the caller. It is hurting my home based business.

Who is behind TeleFund? They call several times a day and I don't pick up but I would like them to stop.

Telefund is a new type of tele marketer. They will call you with different phone numbers until you finally donate money. This is considered harassment and everyone should file a complaint with their local police departments as soon as possible. Plus when you do donate they will keep 65% of your money for their so called operating costs. Then after 30 days you will start receiving the automated dialer phone calls again, now asking for you to sign up for their " Monthly Giving Plan ". Warning ! If you do pickup the phone and yell at them they will have their auto dialers call you every 8 minutes for 2 or 3 hours every night for several weeks. This is Pure Harassment and no one is doing anything about it ! Thanks Federal Trade Commission for doing such a great job with enforcing the Do Not Call Registry.

Both my home phone and cell are on the "do not call" list, and I do update. It is pretty worthless. I get so many solicitation calls on my home line, including scammers who are threatening me with legal BS, that I don't even bother answering it anymore. The only reason I haven't cancelled it is because...maybe it would work if terrorists disabled cell phones?

Now my cell is getting junk calls too. Can't something be done? There are just too many everyday to have to enter all of them into some government site, everyday.

These violators are damaging the businesses of companies that are trying to provide phone services. Maybe landlines are becoming archaic, but we should still be able to have one without being harassed.

The government is not doing enough to stop this. Are the robo-callers and scammers more sophisticated? Would be pretty sad if that were true.

I have been getting 8 calls so far today from a guy saying his name is STEVE MARTIN from some fed. Agency, telling me that a is looking for means to call 1-509-428-2481 LOL he dose not sound like a STEVE MARTIN to me aounds like some Arab person

Please report your experience at so it becomes part of the FTC database that's used by investigators nationwide. Your complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies bring scam artists to justice.

i cannot comprehend how the following happened to me,the last week of January,2015
I was on the phone with our local Walgreens,checking if my moms prescription for Tramadol was ready.The computerized voice said they are waiting for my moms doctor to call.I hung up.60 seconds later,the phone rang.The caller i.d. was showing an area code from upstate NY.A man with a thick Indian accent asked for Michael,and I said this is he.The man said he was with"Northland Pharmacy", and MY 50 mg Tramadol tabs are ready.He said he needed my credit card # to complete the transaction.I just stood there,thinking,trying to comprehend what was happening,how it happened,etc.I told him I don't take Tramadol.He then hung up.I called Pharm mgr,at the Walgreen's,and told him.He too was perplexed,yet didn't seem to care or worry as much as I was.I found out a week later he submitted a complaint on my behalf with their security dept.,but so far-5weeks later,nobody from Walgreen's has answered my many emails,nor contacted me any other way.I told the Rph that it seems clear that either mine or Walgreen's phone had to be compromised in some way.I don't believe in coincidence.My moms meds were the 50 mg strength,but how did this guy contact me? Right after I got off phone with legitimate co.about legitimate product,for my mom,and he asks for me,knows I'm at this # also.I can't figure it out.I saved that # and a few more from people trying to sell us low cost electricity,and a time-share in Florida,but,on my birthday,a week and a half ago,I lost my phone.Got a new SIM card for another phone I used to use and am using again now for the next few months or so,and all my contacts are gone-with the lost phone.And I was either foolish or not thinking when I deleted the #'s from landline phone.We get these garbage calls 7 days/wk.,I think they are targeting my mom-she's almost 85. Registered our # with DNC list 3 or 4 times in last 6 or 7 months,that does absolutely nothing.Today when I came home and looked at phone caller i.d.,it showed OUR NUMBER,AND MY DECEASED FATHERS NAME had called!(mom left his name w/our # in phone book) That is pretty cruel and sick.I'd like to have 5 minutes with one of these s.o.b.'s.It may or may not be the same person? We need this to stop.I am actually wishing the govt would intervene,and make it impossible to show another # on the recipients caller i.d.that people call.And I am known to favor small government.Any ideas anyone,on how this could happen?? More importantly:How to make it stop?

All these damn calls should be forwarded to everyone from the White House to both houses of congress. ( no caps on purpose) you can bet your (fill in blank) they get none.

I'm receiving robocalls stating that a 'formal complaint' has been filed against. ..then, a different computer voice states my name. This is scary. I've done nothing illegal, ever.

Hello, I am getting phone calls from stupid telemarketers at different hours and different times and it is really getting on my nervs! Is there a way to block these idiots from calling???

Telefund keeps calling me even when I keep telling them to stop. They keep most of the money they collect, so it's pointless to give them anything no matter what charity they claim to be raising money for.

Leave a Comment