2009-09-02 / Front Page

Robocalls banned

A new ban on automated telemarketing calls went into effect Tuesday making "robocalls" from telemarketers illegal.

Businesses that try to push products on consumers with automated and unsolicited calls will face fines up to $16,000 per call, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Calls from politicians, public service announcements and "informational" calls will be exempt from the new rule. Banks, telephone carriers and most charitable organizations are also excluded from the ban, according to the FTC.

Robocall complaints should be reported at www.ftc.gov or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.

The ban applies only to pre-recorded calls. Consumers are encouraged to sign up for the federal "do not call" registry at www.donotcall. gov for additional protections.

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