Robocalls lead to mass torts

When the phone rings, one might expect the caller to be a friend or family member, a romantic interest or a Tennessee business associate. Too often, however, the caller is a telemarketer of some kind. While some telemarketers have legitimate sales pitches, others are scam artists, particularly robocallers. It is becoming more difficult to avoid them as their tricks grow more sophisticated, but some consumers find relief in mass torts that hold robocallers accountable for violating the law.

Robocalls are computer generated, and they don't care if the person receiving the call is on a do-not-call list. Spoofs are a kind of robocall that uses technology to appear on someone's caller ID as if the call is coming from a trusted source. For example, a spoof call may seem to be coming from a neighbor or family member, from the police or from the IRS. Some consumer advocates estimate that 2.4 billion robocalls are made each month.

Some phone carriers offer services to block those calls for a monthly fee. Many phone carriers also warn customers not to answer calls from unfamiliar numbers or press keys at the request of a recording. Recently, the Federal Communications Commission has approved a measure to allow phone carriers to intercept and block calls that may originate as robocalls. Phone carriers will also be allowed to block numbers that appear to be incoming from invalid phone numbers.

While these measures may slow down the growing waves of robocalls and spoofs, not many believe there is a way to completely stop the annoying and intrusive automated telemarketers and scammers. Perhaps the only way to send a message is through the mass torts that continue to achieve success for many who are affected by robocallers. Those in Tennessee who feel they may have cause for such a lawsuit can obtain more information from an attorney.

Source:, "Bamboozled: What's your carrier doing about robocalls?", Karin Price Mueller, Jan. 4, 2018

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