Kati Daffan, attorney at the Federal Trade Commission, explains what a robocall is, when they are illegal, and gives consumers tips on what to do when they get robocalls.
If you have a telephone, robocalls may be ruining your day. I'm Kati Daffan, an attorney at the Federal Trade Commission. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person, it's a robocall. If the recording is a sales message and you haven't given your written permission to get calls from the company on the other end, the call is illegal period. So when you get an illegal robocall, here's what to do. Hang up the phone. Don't press one to speak to a live operator. And don't press any other number to get off the list. If you respond by pressing any number, it will probably just lead to more robocalls. You might consider contacting your phone provider and asking them to block the number and whether they charge for that service. Remember that telemarketers change caller ID information easily and often. So it might not be worth paying a fee to block a number that will change. Finally, contact the FTC to report your experience. You can do that online at ftc.gov or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP. To learn more about illegal robocalls and what the FTC is doing to stop them, visit ftc.gov/robocalls. That's ftc.gov/robocalls.