Missouri ‘Do Not Call’ List
MO Telemarketing laws summary: https://www.findlaw.com/state/missouri-law/missouri-telemarketing-fraud-laws.html
MO Department of Attorney General:
Complaint to MO AG – https://ago.mo.gov/app/nocallcomplaint
Verify registration on the No-Call list – https://ago.mo.gov/app/NoCallRegistration/lookup
MO No-Call List Online: https://ago.mo.gov/app/NoCallRegistration
Missouri No-Call List:
Missouri is one of the twelve US states which maintain their own Do Not Call Lists. Missourians can register their residential and cell phone numbers on the Missouri No-Call List in addition to the National Do Not Call registry. Attorney General’s office implements and maintains Missouri’s No-Call List.
The No-Call list in Missouri comprises residential telephone numbers and personal cell phone numbers of individuals who have explicitly expressed their desire not to receive calls from telemarketers. Managed by the Attorney General’s Office, this list serves as a protection against unwanted telemarketing calls. According to the law, telemarketers are strictly forbidden from contacting the numbers listed, though certain exceptions have been incorporated into the legislation.
Almost 4.3 million phone numbers from Missouri are on the No-Call list and the national Do Not Call list.
The No-Call list in Missouri is a compilation of residential and cell phone numbers belonging to individuals who prefer not to receive unsolicited calls. It is important to note that business or work numbers of subscribers are not included in this list. Missourians have the option to register multiple cellphone numbers for added protection. Moreover, the No-Call law extends beyond phone calls and covers short messaging service (SMS) or multimedia messaging service (MMS) as well.
To facilitate compliance and implementation, the Attorney General’s Office updates the list every three months (quarterly). This allows telemarketers sufficient time to incorporate these names into their respective no-call lists, ensuring better adherence to the regulations and reduced unwanted solicitations for consumers.
What if a telemarketer calls a phone number on Missouri’s No-Call List?
If a telemarketer calls someone on the No-Call List, they may face significant consequences. Telemarketers found guilty of unlawfully contacting numbers on the list can be subjected to civil penalties, with each knowing violation potentially incurring fines of up to $5,000, along with any additional relief as determined appropriate. The Attorney General has already taken action against multiple telemarketers for such violations.
Moreover, Missourians can also take private legal action against a telemarketer who calls their registered phone number more than once within a 12-month period. Individuals can sue the telemarketer and may be entitled to receive up to $5,000 in damages as compensation for each of the unwanted calls and any associated distress or inconvenience caused to them.
All telemarketers making calls to Missouri residents are required to procure copy of the No-Call List once every quarter, to make sure that they do not call any phone numbers which are on that list.
Missouri Telemarketing Laws impose certain other restrictions too.
Missouri’s Telemarketing Law outlines various restrictions that all telemarketers must adhere to. The specific list of mandatory disclosures and forbidden actions can be found in MRS Sections 407.1070 through 407.1085.
Under the Missouri Law, telemarketers have a legal obligation to promptly make specific disclosures during their calls, including:
Some notable restrictions imposed upon the telemarketers calling Missouri phone numbers include:
Any violation of the telemarketing laws (MRS Section 407.1070 to 407.1085) can lead to severe consequences, potentially resulting in a conviction ranging from the lowest, Class D felony, to the highest misdemeanor, Class A. For Class D felonies, offenders may face a prison term of up to 4 years, while Class A misdemeanors could lead to a jail sentence of up to 1 year.
In addition to the potential imprisonment, violators can be subject to substantial fines. They may be fined up to $5,000 or a fine equal to triple the gains obtained from the telemarketing activity, with no upper limit specified. These penalties are in place to deter individuals and entities from engaging in unlawful telemarketing practices and to safeguard consumers from unwanted solicitations and fraudulent activities.
Telemarketers making calls to Missouri phone numbers cannot afford to neglect these laws. Consumers should be aware of these laws too, so they can take appropriate action against calls in violation of the laws. And seek to recover statutory damages by filing lawsuits against the habitual violators.
The Missouri No-Call law allows certain exceptions.
The following telemarketers may make calls to phone numbers on the No-Call list, but only in these limited scenarios, such as:
1. If the calling business has an existing business relationship with the recipient.
2. Specific not-for-profit groups, provided the individual making the call is a member of the group.
3. Individuals whom the recipient has expressly allowed or invited to call, such as when filling out a name and number on an entry form.
4. Individuals calling on a referral basis or conducting business from their homes, and licensed professionals or tradespeople who are scheduling or attempting to arrange an appointment.
3 simple ways to register your phone number on the Missouri No-Call List:
Verify your registration: Use this link to verify or make sure that your phone number is on the No-Call List: https://ago.mo.gov/app/NoCallRegistration/lookup.
To report telemarketing calls you received on your phone number which is registered on the No-Call list to the Attorney General, use this link: https://ago.mo.gov/app/nocallcomplaint.
Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call List:
Visit the Do Not Call website: www.donotcall.gov
To register on the National Do Not Call (DNC), you can fill out the form available at https://www.donotcall.gov/register.html#step1. This registration process allows you to include up to three phone numbers simultaneously. To complete the registration successfully, you must provide confirmation via email within 72 hours.
Call the toll-free number: 1-888-382-1222
To add your phone number to the Federal Do Not Call Registry via phone, simply dial 1-888-382-1222 from the number you want to register and follow the instructions.
After successfully registering your phone number on the DNC, you can expect a significant reduction in unwanted telemarketing calls. Nevertheless, it’s essential to be aware that both Federal and Missouri laws include certain exceptions to the general prohibition. Even these exempted telemarketers must adhere to specific regulations and guidelines while making telemarketing calls to Missouri phone numbers, especially those on the No-Call List.
TCPA: The Federal Law helping consumers fight unwanted telemarketing calls.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a federal law aimed at protecting consumers in the United States from unsolicited telemarketing calls and unwanted text messages. By implementing specific regulations for telemarketers, the TCPA empowers Americans to defend themselves against intrusive telemarketing practices. Here’s how the TCPA provides essential safeguards:
1. Consent Requirement: Telemarketers are required to obtain prior express written consent before making automated or prerecorded promotional calls, including text messages, to consumers’ cell phones. Contacting consumers without obtaining this consent is a 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 indicate their preference not to receive telemarketing calls. Telemarketers are strictly prohibited from calling numbers listed on this 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 call or message. Consumers must be informed of their right to opt out of future communications, and telemarketers must promptly honor their request. Failing to do so is a TCPA violation.
4. Restrictions on Automated Calls and Text Messages: The TCPA imposes limitations on automated or prerecorded calls and text messages, commonly known as robocalls. Telemarketers must obtain prior express consent for such communications, with exceptions made for emergency messages or non-commercial calls.
5. Right to Sue: The TCPA grants consumers the right to take legal action against telemarketers who violate the law. If you receive calls without consent, even if registered on the Do-Not-Call Registry, or after opting out, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit and seek damages. Several consumers have successfully recovered $500 to $1,500 for each time a telemarketer called them in violation of the TPCA.
To effectively utilize the protections offered by the TCPA, it is important for you to take these steps:
By taking these proactive steps, consumers can effectively safeguard themselves against unwelcome telemarketing practices.
TCPA provides clear guidelines for implementing the Do Not Call List to regulate telemarketing calls.
The Do Not Call List offers an effective mechanism to shield consumers from bothersome telemarketing calls. By enrolling their phone number in the list, consumers can require telemarketers to cease calling that specific number. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Calls from political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors, for instance, remain exempt from the provisions of the Do Not Call List. Additionally, telemarketers with whom you have an established business relationship are allowed to make calls to you.
Nevertheless, if a telemarketer persists in calling you despite your phone number being on the Do Not Call list for over 30 days, you have the right to seek statutory damages for each such call under the TCPA.
Missourians can fight back against unwanted telemarketing calls using both their local laws and the federal TCPA.
If telemarketers unlawfully call you, you have the right to pursue legal action against them. Missouri residents have the option to file civil actions either individually or as a class to seek damages for any actual harm caused. Under the TCPA, consumers can claim statutory damages ranging from $500 for each call and these damages may be tripled in cases of knowing or willful violations.
Furthermore, Missouri laws enable consumers to recover up to $5,000 for each call, in certain specific situations. By exercising these legal avenues, consumers can hold telemarketers accountable for their violations and seek appropriate compensation.
According to a report by WebRecon, consumers across the US filed 94 TCPA in December 2022 alone, including 52 class actions. 1531 TCPA lawsuits were filed in the year 2022.
Insights Into Calls Reported by Missouri Residents to the FTC in FY 2022:
Missouri Residents Can Put A Strong Fight Against Unwanted Telemarketing Calls
Missouri residents have one of the strongest defenses against unwanted telemarketing calls. The federal TCPA, combined with the Missouri state telemarketing laws provides a strong set of regulations for telemarketers to stick to, while making calls. The double Do Not Call lists simultaneously ensures that telemarketers who access either of these lists will not make unwanted calls to the listed phone numbers.
If despite all the regulations, a telemarketer continues to call your Missouri phone number in violation of any of the above guidelines, you may choose from a combination of multiple remedies available to you, including:
Navigating the complexities of these laws can be challenging. If you find yourself dealing with unwanted telemarketing calls in violation of the laws, consider consulting a Consumer Attorney to investigate the matter on your behalf.
It is essential to recognize that while the TCPA establishes penalties and fines for violators, successfully recovering these amounts is not guaranteed. The possibility of obtaining such penalties often hinges on the financial capability of the offender to fulfill the judgment. However, despite this uncertainty, the TCPA and Missouri state laws offer consumers strong remedies to address unwanted telemarketing calls, providing them with the tools to protect their rights and privacy.