Federal Communications Commission: Cold Calling – Know Your Rights To Reduce Hassles

By  //  October 4, 2015

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Understand Your Rights

Whether the calls are annoying, abusive, or downright crooked, you can stop cold callers. This Alert tells you how to stop cold calls, what your legal rights are, which red flags to avoid, and how to evaluate any investment opportunity that comes your way over the telephone. (Shutterstock image)

Whether the calls are annoying, abusive, or downright crooked, you can stop cold callers. This Alert tells you how to stop cold calls, what your legal rights are, which red flags to avoid, and how to evaluate any investment opportunity that comes your way over the telephone. (Shutterstock image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The telephone rings as you’re sitting down to dinner or putting the kids to bed. 

A stranger is selling something.  It’s known as “cold calling.”  For many businesses, including securities firms, cold calling serves as a legitimate way to reach potential customers.

But sometimes serious trouble and financial losses await you at the other end of the line.  You may be pressured to buy a bad investment.  Or the investment might be a scam.

Whether the calls are annoying, abusive, or downright crooked, you can stop cold callers.  This Alert tells you how to stop cold calls, what your legal rights are, which red flags to avoid, and how to evaluate any investment opportunity that comes your way over the telephone.

Use the “National Do Not Call Registry” to Reduce Unwanted Cold Calls

The National Do Not Call Registry was jointly established by the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission to give Americans a way to avoid getting telemarketing calls at home.  Adding your home or cell phone number to the Registry is easy — and absolutely free.  You may register two ways:

• Online at donotcall.gov, as long as you have a working email address.  Shortly after you sign up, you will receive an email confirmation from donotcall.gov that contains a link you must click to complete the process.  If you do not click on this link within 72 hours, your phone number will not be registered.

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• Over the telephone by calling toll-free 1-888-382-1222 from the number you wish to register.

Your number will remain on the Registry for five years — or sooner if you decide to terminate your phone service or take your number off the Registry.

e aware that putting your home phone or cell phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry will not stop all telemarketing calls.  You still may receive calls from:

• Political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors.

• Companies with whom you have an established business relationship.  Under FINRA rules, an established business relationship includes making a financial transaction or having a security position, money balance or account activity with the firm within the past 18 months.  A securities representative may also call you for up to three months after you’ve contacted the firm to ask about a product or service.

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• Companies you have provided express written permission to make telephone contact.

• If the caller is a family member, friend, or acquaintance, they also may still call you.

Understand Your Rights

When telemarketers, including people from the securities industry, call to sell you something, they must follow these important rules:

Cold Callers Must Check the “National Do Not Call Registry” — With very few exceptions, federal law requires all telemarketers, including securities firms, to search the National Do Not Call Registry every 31 days to avoid calling any numbers that are on the Registry.

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