Action News Troubleshooters: How to stop harassing robocalls and earn money

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There is a way you can make $500-$1500 for certain robocalls you get on your cell phone as reported by Nydia Han during Action News at 11 on November 5, 2018.

There is a way you can make up to $1,500 for certain robocalls you get on your cell phone. You're entitled to that money under federal law.

Unwanted calls are the Federal Communication Commission's top consumer complaint.

Robocalls are defined as pre-recorded messages, messages using an artificial voice, and any call dialed using a computer, even if a live person is on the other end.

The Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act or TCPA says telemarketers cannot robocall your cell phone unless you've specifically consented to it in writing.

And if they do, you're entitled to $500 to $1,500 per violation, meaning per illegal call.

Paul DeMuth sued Navient after it robocalled him relentlessly to try to collect on his student loan.
Navient made 200 unauthorized calls to DeMuth in two years. So a court awarded Demuth a judgment of $300,000.

Demuth's attorney, Craig Kimmel of Kimmel and Silverman, says the law firm has taken all kinds of companies to court, including pharmacies, "telemarketers, solicitors, timeshare companies, colleges, and online institutions."

If you want to take a robocaller to court, find out who's calling you and then tell them to stop.

"Write down the date and time you told them to stop calling and the phone number they called you from," said Kimmel.

If you hear an automated voice and there's an option to stop the calls, go through the process then note the date and time.

-Block the number on your cell phone.

-And if calls continue, take a screenshot to prove it and save the picture for your records.

-Then contact a consumer lawyer.

"Lawyers get companies to stop calling because companies are afraid of being sued, so even if you just want the calls to stop, talk to a lawyer to send a letter for you," said Kimmel.


1. Answer the phone and identify the caller. Clearly and politely tell them to stop calling your cell number. Tell them you are ending the call and hang up. Do not permit the caller to continue speaking.

2. Write down the phone number of the caller, and date and time.

3. If you hear an automated voice when answering the call, and there is an option to stop calls, go through the process, then write down what you did, along with the information in (2) above. Save.

4. Immediately block the number on your cell phone (available on iPhone and Android).

5. If calls continue, take a screen shot of the blocked call notification (showing date and time). Save in your photo app for your records.

6. Optional: Send a letter to the caller if you know the company (such as a credit card provider or collector of a student loan). Clearly state your instructions to stop all calls and say that you revoke consent to be called. Mail the letter certified and return receipt (do not use email or fax). Retain a copy and wait for the green card proof of delivery to be returned by the post office. This is written proof that the caller was told to stop.

7. Call a consumer lawyer. Companies obey instructions given by an attorney, to limit legal liability.
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