Stop Unwanted Charity Calls from Telemarketing Services

Harrassed by Telemarketing Services?

Harrassed by Telemarketing Services?

Are you tired of being harassed by telemarketing services on behalf of veterans charities? You can make them stop!

As noble as the cause may be to support our nation's veterans, some telemarketing services are giving veterans charities a bad name, and causing many who would otherwise donate to charity to decide never to support a particular charity.

Most of these calls are made by for-profit fundraisers using telemarketing services, and as their fee, they generally skim off a large portion (in some cases more than 90%) of the donations intended to support our veterans.

You CAN stop unwanted telemarketing.

Here's some information from the Federal Communications Commission about how to stop those calls:

Congress first passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in 1991 in response to consumer concerns about the growing number of unsolicited telephone marketing calls to their homes and the increasing use of automated and prerecorded messages.

In response, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules that require anyone making a telephone solicitation call to your home to provide his or her name, the name of the person or entity on whose behalf the call is being made, and a telephone number or address at which that person or entity can be contacted.

The original rules also prohibit telephone solicitation calls to your home before 8 am or after 9 pm, and require telemarketers to comply with any do-not-call request you make directly to the caller during a solicitation call.

Telemarketers covered by the National Do-Not-Call Registry (this does not include charitable organizations or telemarketing services calling on their behalf) have up to 31 days from the date that you register your telephone number to remove it from their call lists and stop calling you.

In June 2003, the FCC supplemented its original rules implementing the TCPA and established, together with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the national Do-Not-Call list.

The National Do-Not-Call List

Once you have placed your home phone number or numbers, including any personal cell phone numbers, on the national Do-Not-Call list, telemarketing services have up to 31 days to remove your number from their lists, and thereafter are prohibited from making telephone solicitations to those number(s).

Your number or numbers will remain on the list until you remove them or discontinue service at that number. There is no need to re-register numbers.

The national Do-Not-Call list protects home voice or personal wireless phone numbers only. While you may be able to register a business number, your registration will not make telephone solicitations to that number unlawful.

If you do receive a telemarketing call at a business number, simply inform the caller that it is a business number and ask them to remove the number from their list.

A "telephone solicitation" is a telephone call that acts as an advertisement. The term does not include calls or messages placed with your express prior permission, by or on behalf of a tax-exempt non-profit organization, or from a person or organization with which you have an established business relationship (EBR). An EBR exists if you have made an inquiry, application, purchase, or transaction regarding products or services offered by the person or entity involved (or have made a previous donation).

Generally, you may put an end to that relationship by telling the caller not to place any more solicitation calls to your home. Any EBR is only in effect for 18 months after your last business transaction or three months after your last inquiry or application. After these time periods, calls placed to your home phone number or numbers by that person or entity are considered telephone solicitations subject to the do-not-call rules.

Register your home phone number or numbers on the national Do-Not-Call list at no cost. To add a phone number to the national Do-Not-Call list, click the link or call 1-888-382-1222 (voice) or 1-866-290-4236 (TTY), from the phone number you wish to register.

Company-Specific Do-Not-Call Lists

Whether or not your home phone number is registered on the national Do-Not-Call list, the FCC requires a person
or entity placing voice telephone solicitations to your home to maintain a record of your direct request to that caller not to receive future telephone solicitations from that person or entity.

The calling company must honor your do-not-call request for five years. To prevent calls after five years, you will need to repeat your request to the company, and it must honor it for another five years (and so on). Your request should also stop calls from affiliated entities if you would reasonably expect them to be included, given the identification of the caller and the product being advertised.

Unless your home phone number is registered on the national Do-Not-Call list, however, you must make a separate do-not-call request to each telemarketer from whom you do not wish to receive calls.

When you receive telephone solicitation calls, clearly state that you want to be added to the caller's do-not-call list. You may want to keep a list of those persons or businesses that you have asked not to call you.

Tax-exempt non-profit organizations are not required to keep do-not-call lists. But telemarketing services calling on their behalf may be subject to this requirement.

The Federal Trade Commission, which operates the Do Not Call Registry, says, "if a third-party telemarketer is calling on behalf of a charity, a consumer may ask not to receive any more calls from, or on behalf of, that specific charity. If a third-party telemarketer calls again on behalf of that charity, the telemarketer may be subject to a fine of up to $16,000."

Tell the caller you do not wish to receive any more calls on behalf of that charity, and then read the above quote. That should do it.

Caller Identification (ID)

If you have caller ID, telemarketing services are required to transmit or display their phone number and, if available, their name or the name and phone number of the company for which they are selling products. The display must include a phone number that you can call during regular business hours to ask that the company no longer call you.

This rule applies even if you have an EBR with the company, and even if you have not registered your home phone number(s) on the national Do-Not-Call list. Before these rules took effect, the words "private," "out of area," or "unavailable" might have appeared on the Caller ID display.

What You Can Do

The FCC can issue warning citations and impose fines against companies violating or suspected of violating the do-not-call rules, but does not award individual damages. If you receive a telephone solicitation that you think violates any of these rules, you can file a complaint with the FCC at no charge either online; by e-mailing; calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232; or writing to:

Federal Communications Commission
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries & Complaints Division
445 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20554.

What to Include in Your Complaint

The best way to provide all the information the FCC needs to process your complaint is to complete the on-line complaint form. If you do not use the on-line complaint form (which we recommend), your complaint, at a minimum, should include all the information requested in the online form.

Some states permit you to file law suits in state court against persons or entities violating the do-not-call rules. You may be awarded $500 in damages or actual monetary loss, whichever is greater. The amount may be tripled if you are able to show that the caller violated the rules willfully and knowingly. Filing a complaint with the FCC does not prevent you from also bringing a suit in state court.

States also can bring a civil law suit against any person or entity that engages in a pattern or practice of violating the TCPA or FCC rules. You can contact your state Attorney General's office or consumer protection agency with particular complaints, or to encourage such suits.

For additional ideas on ways to thwart these unwanted calls, see Your Local Phone Company Can Stop Unwanted Telemarketing Calls.

Comments for Stop Unwanted Charity Calls from Telemarketing Services

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 24, 2016
by: Tomas

I'm a veteran who takes care of my brother with A.L.S. I've received calls from "Steve" about pledging $20.00. I don't give out credit card info over the phone and told him so. He kept stating "I'll put you down for a $20.00 donation".

Since then, I've received several letters and even more phone calls from this organization. I've just now written the BBB with a complaint.

Please do not give to these people getting rich off Us unsuspecting Americans.

Jun 03, 2016
Never give over the phone
by: Tim

I belong to the Disabled American Veterans Chapter serving my area. We do our fundraising face-to-face and we're all volunteers so 100% goes to LOCAL projects and vets in distress. We don't use phone solicitations.

The VFW and Legion only phone their members. Give locally to one of the "big 3" or do a little research and find an honest outfit near you.

May 17, 2016
Disccussting & Anoying Calls
by: Anonymous

For over six months I have been receiving harassing calls that are associated with Founders of American Vets.

The first call I received asked for Me as if this person knew me personally. My cousin answered this call and asked them who they were. Although she saw the caller I.D. she found it strange that this person was now getting very offensive & demanding that she put me on the phone.

My cousin told the person to remove my # from their calling list. Since then the calls have not stopped. Except wk. ends. The calls come from all over the country with persons names.

When I try & return the calls immediately after they hang up a recording states its non functioning #!

I add them to a blocked list given to me by Comcast *60 which holds only 25 Numbers. I then have to start over. Its 5 to six calls a day.

Try reporting them to your local phone company for harassment. Ask them to put a tracer on your line so they can determine where the calls actually come from. Then log the date and time every time they call, so the phone company can match those times with the numbers that call. Then ask the phone company to block all those numbers.

Apr 11, 2016
American Veterans
by: Anonymous

Keeps Asking For My Mother And Says he Will Call Back And I Said No he says Yes.

Mar 31, 2016
Meet The Enemies At Home
by: Time to End Scams

Meet The Enemies At Home

The reason the caller hangs up as soon as you answer is because the third party fundraiser caller/solicitor is cheating the very people that are cheating our veterans.

They bill the "Charity" for every completed call, regardless of duration or result. The Garbage robbing the Trash while robbing our vets and donors.

These scumbags are robbing our nation and destroying the goodwill of decent people who actually reach out to help those who served our country and now need our help.

We need a federal law to rein in the rampant abuse of a noble cause. They exist only to enrich the vermin preying on our brave veterans and the giving people of America.

Write your state and local government and your US Congressional Representatives and Senators. Demand they investigate the abuse and act to curb and control it.

Most of these scams are giving less than 10% of funds collected to any veteran related issue, and those minuscule amounts are again depleted by administrative fees at their destination.

All goodwill is filtered through the hands of the greedy several times before the disgracefully small sums are actually dispersed to veterans.

Personally investigate any charity before ever giving them a cent. Who are they? What is their mission? How long have they served their cause? Are they effective in serving their cause? Who gets paid and how much?

Huge overhead for small results equals scam. Don't let your kind heart and patriotism enrich those who would steal from those who put their lives at risk to serve us all.

We all deserve better.

Mar 28, 2016
by: Anonymous

Steve was the solicitor. He knew my first name and wanted $30.00.

But when I tried to call back the same number, it was actually a car dealership.

So it's ineffective to try and ask these scammers to stop. The telephone number on caller ID is fake.

Block them with your phone is probably more effective.

Dec 29, 2015
Harrassing & Disturburing Foundation For Amercan Vets Calls
by: Anonymous

I want to say that these calls do not stop no matter how many times I've told them to STOP!
I get in one day up to 5 calls a day in the last month & they call to falsify the number of welcomed & successful calls that they make.

They hang up if I pick up to tell them I've reported the calls. How do they get private numbers?

With Your First Name, some of the calls ask for a person's name, as if it's someone that knows you as a friend. And demand that you put a person on the phone in threatening manner.

There is no respect from these evil people.

Anon, see my suggestions in the next comment about not answering your phone.

Dec 22, 2015
Stopping unwanted solicitations
by: Anonymous

The thing you DON'T want to do is register your number on the FCC do not call list.

That is, of course, unless you love solicitors calling you day AND night. I was registered for several years on the DNC list and once I got off the list within a short time the unwanted calls stopped.

I have two ideas why this would occur.

1. Solicitors have access to the DNC list and as such, KNOW it is an active number-so they call and call and call.

2. DNC list is bureaucratically administered and run and as such ask yourself one question-how is any bureaucratically run program performing for the folks these days.....huh?

Get OFF and stay OFF the DNC list if you value your sanity!

Interesting theory, Anon. I have been on the Do Not Call list for years, and do not get these calls, except for the occasional local charity calling to solicit on their own behalf (which is not prohibited by the DNC list).

I also routinely do not answer my house phone. It's hard to break that habit, but it can be done. If you have a hard time ignoring it, turn the ringer down so you can barely hear it. If you don't recognize the name or number, don't answer it.

I have voice mail, and my theory is that if it's a legitimate call from someone I want to talk to, they'll either leave a message or call my cell phone. If it's not important enough for them to leave a message, it's not important enough for me to interrupt what I'm doing to answer it - I work from home.

And I guard my cell phone number so I don't get interrupted all day long by people I don't want to talk to anyway.

Dec 11, 2015
by: Anonymous

I am on the do not call list from scanners.

Unfortunately, Anon, the Do Not Call rules do not apply to charities soliciting for themselves, although they should apply to 3rd-party fundraisers calling on behalf of a charity.

Oct 30, 2015
No way to tell them to quit pestering
by: Anonymous

Excuse me?

How exactly do you remove an unhappy victim's name from your nuisance call list when you emit a recording into the person's ear or answering machine?

It's hard to tell a recorded message to quit harassing you.

Anon, contact your local phone company, report the harassment, and ask them to block calls from this number.

Oct 14, 2015
I work for one of these companies
by: Anonymous

I am so very sorry that you keep getting calls like this. We comply with any requests to be removed off the list. I'm not too sure about monetary donation calls, but I work for a clothing one.

You must state "Please remove me off the list." We SHOULD reply with your number being read to you, followed by a promise to remove you off the list.

Keep in mind that there are several [thousand] charities out there, so you might want to keep a record of which ones you requested.

I know this is an inconvenience, but once you have told every charity this, you will not get bothered again.

Now if you donate to a local thrift store and fill out a tax exempt form then you might get calls again.

Anon, thank you for taking the time to explain to our readers what they need to do to accomplish the goal of getting their name off charity calling lists, from an insider. We appreciate you chiming in on the conversation.

Mar 26, 2015
Thanks anyway
by: Anonymous

I found this advice helpful and filed a complaint with the FCC. Unfortunately, their reply email informed me that the American Veterans Support Foundation is not doing anything wrong in continuing to call me.

It doesn't seem to matter that they have called me over 30 times this year alone or that I have specifically asked them not to, more than once, or that there are signs that they are not a real charity, but a scam.

I guess my only options now are to read them the quote from the Federal Trade Commission or pay my phone company to block their calls. Thanks for your help.

It's too bad scams like this can call themselves charities and get away with it.

Sorry to hear that's the response you got from the FCC. Try calling your local phone company and report them for harrassment. That might work.

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