A robocall is simply a recorded message delivered in the form of a telephone call. In robocalls, the caller is not a real person but a machine and requires an autodialer to reach the recipient. With the help of advanced technology and human voices, robocalls are not very easy to identify at first, but as the call progresses, the individual will be able to tell that they are talking to a machine. Robocalls do not last long. They are used to send urgent information to a large number of people quickly. Robocalls are legal, meaning that they can not be stopped completely. Some legitimate robocalls include:
- Robocalls from physicians and pharmacy: Used to remind individuals about their appointment or notify them that a prescription is available for pickup.
- Robocalls from academic institutions: Kindergarten, campuses, or schools use robocalls to make emergency announcements like unexpected closure or sudden changes in the calendar year.
- Charities: Robocalls have increased the scope of many charity organizations. It is now a quick means to ask for donations from a large number of people.
- Political campaigns: Politicians use robocalls to present their programs to the people and possibly convince them to vote for the candidate.
- IRS robocalls: The Inland Revenue Service uses robocalls as deadline reminders and to announce a new development in the agency.
However, robocalls are unlawful when used to facilitate crime and fraud. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) ensure that robocall scams are reduced or eliminated.
What are Kentucky Robocall Scams?
Most robocalls are not illegal in Kentucky. However, robocalling involving the use of any automated calling equipment with the intent of stealing money or something of value from Kentuckians is illegal and prohibited. Scammers prefer robocalls to other phone scam tools because they support a wider reach. A single pre-recorded script can be delivered to every resident in the area in a short time.
Fraudsters may use robocalls to find targets by spamming many phone numbers. They intentionally search for those that are currently active and engage them in their fraudulent schemes. Often, fraudsters spoof robocalls to impersonate familiar organizations and government agencies. Residents are advised to contact a reverse phone lookup service provider or download a reverse phone number lookup tool online. If you are targeted by robocall scams, file and submit a complaint to the Attorney General’s Office.
How are Robocalls Used in Kentucky Scams?
Scammers spoof robocalls to impersonate legitimate telemarketing companies or government agencies and trick residents into taking their calls. Scammers also use bogus or pre-recorded scripts to deceive unsuspecting individuals. Some of these scripts persuade the individual to begin a chat with any of their live agents. Robocalls are cost-effective means for reaching out to thousands of targets. Residents should get a reverse phone lookup application to verify unknown numbers.
Does Kentucky Have Anti-Robocall Laws?
In Kentucky, robocalls are also referred to as calls from 'automated calling equipment.’ All calls using a device to select or dial telephone numbers and deliver recorded messages to the number is regulated by KRS 367.469. The statute specifies that robocalls can not be made unless the company files an application for an automated calling equipment permit and a $10,000 surety bond with the Attorney General’s office unless covered by one of the exemptions in KRS 367.461.
The statute also maintains that robocalls are unlawful when used to conduct polls, solicit information, or advertise goods, services, or properties unless the company is exempted from the law. Anyone who fails to comply with the automated calling equipment permit law may be required to pay $2,000 to the Attorney General’s Office.
Are there Special Requirements for Robocalls in Kentucky?
In Kentucky, legitimate robocalls must meet certain requirements. Compliance with these provisions distinguishes between illegal and illegal robocalls. Robocalls require Automatic Dialing Announcing Devices (ADADs). In Kentucky, ADAD is one of the device's that passes for an automated calling machine. The ADAD makes it possible for individuals or businesses to dial thousands of phone numbers and deliver pre-recorded messages to these numbers simultaneously. The following requirements are mandatory for a legitimate robocall in Kentucky:
- Telemarketers or callers using automated calling equipment must not call a person repeatedly or continuously with behavior that may be tagged annoying, abusive, or harassing.
- Robocalls should not be initiated if the recipient has previously stated that they do not wish to receive solicitation calls from that seller.
- Initiating a telephone solicitation call when the residential number for that telephone appears in the current publication of the National Do Not Call Registry maintained by the United States Federal Trade Commission is unlawful and prohibited.
- Telephone solicitations to a person's residence at any time other than 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. local time is illegal.
- Selling any information received during a telephone solicitation without the consent of the consumer is a crime.
- Telemarketers can not make a telephone solicitation to any residential telephone using an artificial or prerecorded voice to deliver a message, except the call was initiated for emergency purposes. All telemarketing calls require the consent of the recipient in Kentucky.
How Do I Stop Robocalls?
Residents of Kentucky receive multiple robocalls every day. Robocall scams can be very difficult to forget, as the victims lose faith in telephone calls completely. Legitimate telemarketers are also affected by scammers, as Kentuckians are becoming unwilling to patronize their businesses. To effectively reduce robocall scams, residents must take steps. These include;
- Adding their phone number to the State's Do Not Call Registry, which is maintained as part of the National Do Not Call Registry. This makes it unlawful for telemarketers to call you. Register online or call 1 (888) 382-1222 from the phone number you wish to enroll. Adding your number to the registry is free, and it takes 31 days for a registered number to be updated.
- Download a cell-blocking application to block all robocalls. Some cell-blocking applications can recognize who a caller is. This software can create a list for robocalls, and the list is always updated each time a robocall appears on your phone. Third-party applications that offer call-blocking services include Truecaller, Hiya, and Nomorobo. Residents can download them from mobile phone online stores. Alternatively, residents may contact a reverse phone lookup service provider for help anytime they receive a call from a suspicious number.
- Configure cellphones to only receive calls from saved numbers. This automatically reduces the number of unsolicited calls one receives. While there is a possibility of missing some important calls, know that legitimate callers will leave messages for you. If you do not get a message, contact a reverse phone number service provider to verify the phone number.
- File online complaints with the FTC and the FCC if you start suspecting a Robocall fraud. Alternatively, report robocalls to both agencies via the phone. The FTC is available on 1 (888) 382-1222, while the FCC telephone line is 1 (888) 225-5322.
- Never take calls from phone numbers you do not recognize or hang up immediately you realize it is a robocall. Download a reverse phone number lookup application to ascertain the true origin of the call.
- Never rush into decisions given to you as options on robocalls; such options are usually designed to scam you.