Illinois ‘Do Not Call’ List
Illinois seeks to protect telephone consumer rights:
The Do Not Call Registry is a valuable resource for consumers who wish to avoid telemarketing calls. Illinois does not have its own Do Not Call list however the state implemented its own Do Not Call Law in 2002. The state law was revised in 2003 to include cell phone numbers under its protection as well. This legislation grants consumers the liberty to decide whether or not they want to receive telemarketing calls by providing them with the opportunity to opt-out of such communications. The Do Not Call List is overseen by the Illinois Attorney General’s office and managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Its purpose is to maintain a comprehensive registry of individuals who prefer not to receive telemarketing calls.
Telemarketing regulations in Illinois
Contrary to popular belief, telemarketers are not free to call you anytime and on any phone number. In Illinois, the Telephone Solicitation Act, Illinois Penal Code § 815-413-25, in conjunction with federal law, establishes comprehensive guidelines for the conduct of telemarketers, which include:
1. Restriction on calling hours: Telemarketers are prohibited from making telephone solicitations before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
2. Mandatory identification: Telemarketers must clearly identify themselves by providing their name, the company they represent, and a contact phone number for their company.
3. Right to opt-out: If you no longer wish to be contacted by a telemarketer, you have the right to request that they add your name to their do-not-call list. Once you make this request, they should refrain from contacting you again.
These regulations aim to safeguard consumers and ensure that telemarketing practices in Illinois adhere to certain standards of conduct.
Legal remedies under the Illinois Telemarketing Laws
A telemarketer calling Illinoi consumers in violation of any of the above rules could land in trouble.
The state Attorney General is empowered to take legal action against the violators. A telemarketer may be penalized to pay for each call they placed in violation of the state laws. The state may recover $1,000 for the first violation, and $2,500 for every subsequent violation, from the telemarketer, if found guilty.
In case you were the victim of a fraud, or a scam through telemarketing, you could make a complaint to the Illinois Attorney General’s office. You may visit the Attorney General’s website, https://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumer-protection/index or directly file a complaint to the Attorney General’s office at https://ccformsubmission.ilattorneygeneral.net/.
The form consists of the following 4 pages, where you can provide details about the transaction, and how you were scammed.
Illinois Residents also have Private Right of Action
Under the Illinois telemarketing laws, victims of telemarketing frauds can also file lawsuits through private attorneys. Consumers who suffered any actual loss or damage due to telemarketing calls in violation of the Illinois laws, may sue the violator to recover up to three times the loss they suffered. Consumers may either make a complaint to the Attorney General’s office or hire a lawsuit with the help of a private attorney.
However, for consumers who did not suffer any monetary or other damages as a result of the calls, and just wish to get the telemarketers to stop calling them, may find a remedy under the federal law. The Telephone Consumers Protection Act, or TCPA, allows consumers to sue telemarketers who violate the law, both individually and as a class. Even if a consumer did not suffer any monetary loss, they can still recover statutory damages under the TCPA for the annoyance and invasion of their privacy they suffered.
Americans have been filing TCPA lawsuits to take violators to task. Many have successfully recovered between $500 to $1,500 for each time the telemarketer called them in violation of the law.
TCPA: Empowering Consumers in the Fight Against Unwanted Telemarketing Calls
TCPA stands for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which is a U.S. federal law enacted to protect consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls and unsolicited text messages. The TCPA establishes certain guidelines and requirements that telemarketers must follow when contacting consumers. Here’s how TCPA can help an American citizen protect against telemarketers:
1. Consent Requirement: The TCPA requires telemarketers to obtain prior express written consent from consumers before making automated or prerecorded calls, including text messages, to their cell phones for promotional purposes. If a telemarketer contacts you without your consent, they may be in violation of the TCPA.
2. National Do-Not-Call Registry: The TCPA established the National Do-Not-Call Registry, which allows consumers to add their phone numbers to a list indicating that they do not want to receive telemarketing calls. Telemarketers are prohibited from calling phone numbers listed on the registry unless they have obtained prior express written consent.
3. Opt-Out Mechanism: The TCPA mandates that telemarketers provide an easy opt-out mechanism during each telemarketing call or message. They must inform you of your right to opt out of future calls and honor your request immediately. If they continue to contact you after you have opted out, they are in violation of the TCPA.
4. Restrictions on Automated Calls and Text Messages: The TCPA imposes restrictions on automated or prerecorded calls and text messages, commonly known as robocalls. Telemarketers must have prior express consent for such communications, with certain exceptions for emergency messages or non-commercial calls.
5. Right to Sue: Under the TCPA, consumers have the right to take legal action against telemarketers who violate the law. If a telemarketer contacts you without your consent, despite being registered on the Do-Not-Call Registry or after you have opted out, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit and seek damages.
To take advantage of TCPA protections, it’s important to document any telemarketing calls or text messages that violate the law. Keep a record of the date, time, and nature of the call, as well as any relevant details such as the caller’s identity or phone number. If you believe a telemarketer has violated the TCPA, you can consult with an attorney specializing in consumer protection or file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
TCPA provides Do Not Call guidelines to regulate telemarketing calls.
The Do Not Call List serves as an effective mechanism to shield consumers from annoying telemarketing calls. Once a consumer enrolls their phone number in the Do Not Call List, telemarketers are legally obliged to cease calling that phone number. It is important to note, however, that there are specific exceptions to this rule. Calls from political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors, for instance, are exempt from the provisions of the Do Not Call List. Additionally, telemarketers with whom you have an established business relationship are permitted to make calls to you.
However, if a telemarketer calls you more than once, despite your phone number being listed on the Do Not Call list for over 30 days, you may recover statutory damages for each such call under the TCPA.
Follow these simple steps to add your phone number to the National Do Not Call (DNC) list:
1. Go to the official website of the National Do Not Call Registry: https://www.donotcall.gov/.
2. On the homepage, locate and click on the “Register” or “Register Your Phone” button to proceed to the registration page.
3. Provide the phone number you want to register. Remember, both landline and mobile numbers can be registered.
4. Enter your email address as requested. This is essential for confirmation purposes.
5. Complete the verification process, which may involve confirming your email address by clicking on a link sent to your provided email.
6. Once verification is finished, you will receive a confirmation message indicating that your phone number has been successfully added to the National Do Not Call list.
For any further assistance with your registration, you may visit the National Do Not Call Registry website mentioned above or contact their toll-free number at 1-888-382-1222.
It’s worth noting that while registering on the National Do Not Call list can significantly reduce unwanted telemarketing calls, it might not eliminate all of them. Some organizations are exempt from the Do Not Call rules, including political organizations, charities, and companies with whom you have an existing business relationship. Additionally, you may still receive calls from organizations to which you have previously given consent to contact you.
Illinois citizens can fight telemarketing calls with the aid of TCPA and TSA.
The combination of the Illinois Telephone Solicitation Act (ITSA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) provides consumers with a powerful tool to combat unwanted telemarketing calls. Here’s how these two laws can work together:
TCPA is a federal law that applies across the United States. It provides certain protections to consumers from unsolicited telemarketing calls, autodialed calls, prerecorded messages, and SMS text messages. Under the TCPA, telemarketers generally need to obtain the recipient’s prior express consent for such calls or messages, with some exceptions. The TCPA also grants consumers the right to revoke consent and establishes regulations for call opt-outs and the National Do Not Call Registry.
ITSA operates in addition to TCPA. ITSA specifically regulates telemarketing practices within the state of Illinois. It reinforces the restrictions on telemarketers making calls to Illinois phone numbers. The Illinois law also empowers the state Attorney General to enforce the law, along with hefty civil penalties for the violators.
If telemarketers call you in violation of the laws, you may take legal action against the callers. Illinois residents may file civil actions individually or as a class to seek damages for actual harm suffered. The TCPA allows consumers to recover $500 for each call as statutory damages which may be tripled for knowing or willful violations.
A Glimpse into Calls Reported by Illinois Residents on the National Do Not Call Registry.
According to a report by FTC on complaints about telemarketing calls received in FY 2022 from Illinois residents:
Illinois Residents May Utilize State Laws and TCPA to Counter Unwanted Telemarketing Calls
Illinois residents possess the means to effectively combat unwelcome telemarketing calls and pursue compensation for violations through the utilization of state laws and the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act). However, understanding the complexities of these laws and their implementation can be daunting, thus it is advisable to seek guidance from a legal expert if you suspect your privacy rights have been infringed.
It is important to note that while the TCPA outlines penalties and fines for offenders, the successful recovery of these amounts is not guaranteed. The feasibility of obtaining such penalties often depends on the financial situation of the violator and their capacity to fulfill the judgment. Nevertheless, the TCPA and ITSA (Illinois Telemarketing Sales Act) bestow consumers with powerful remedies to combat unwanted telemarketing calls.