There are about 750 million telephone numbers assigned in the United States and telemarketers make an estimated 100 million sales calls each day. In order to identify potential customers, telemarketers often purchase consumer profiles from merchants and other information brokers. Last year, millions of Americans lost nearly $40 billion to telemarketing fraud. Those over 60 years of age file almost half of all telemarketing fraud complaints. Consumer advocates say older people are targeted because they are often at home and can easily preyed upon by swindlers taking advantage of their isolation or loneliness. Telemarketing trade groups claim their industry creates millions of jobs and pumps more than $700 billion into our economy. Even so, at least 70% of Americans have added their telephone numbers to the Federal Trade Commission’s do-not-call registry which prohibits commercial telemarketers from calling residences on this list. Telemarketers claim the do-not-call list is unconstitutional because it limits speech based on its content and because it only bans marketing calls -not calls from politicians, charities and other groups. Robocalls, or phone calls that use a computerized auto-dialer to deliver a pre-recorded message, were used prominently in our last Presidential election. Privacy advocates also support including robocalls on the do-not-call registry.

Pending Legislation:
H.R.827 - Robo Calls Off Phones Act
H.R.2633 - Seniors Fraud Prevention Act of 2015

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Poll Opening Date
March 26, 2020
Poll Closing Date
April 1, 2020

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