Recognize and Avoid Telemarketing Fraud

The Florida Telemarketing Act regulates the actions of telemarketing businesses. Review the following information to better recognize and avoid telemarketing fraud.

  • All non-exempt telemarketing companies must be licensed with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and post a security bond of no less than $50,000 before soliciting. Each individual telemarketer must also have a license.
  • It’s a violation for companies to make sales calls before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. local time.
  • At the beginning of each call, the telemarketer must state their true name, the company they are representing and the product or services being sold.
  • Before you buy anything, make sure the company and telemarketer are properly licensed. Also check the complaint history of the business with the licensing agency, Pinellas County Consumer Protection and the Better Business Bureau.
  • Make sure to get in writing all the information about the business, product or services and any warranties or guarantees offered.
  • At the completion of each sale or purchase agreement, you must be told about your cancellation rights, given the license number of both the business and the salesperson, and told the business’ street address.
  • Beware of offers that sound too good to be true or require an upfront payment for them to “help” you.
  • Don’t provide personal or payment information over the telephone unless you know to whom you are giving it and how it will be used.
  • If you don’t recognize the number, don’t answer the phone. If you do answer, it’s okay to say “no” and hang up.
  • To avoid receiving unwanted telemarketing calls, you can register your home and cell phone numbers free of charge online through the Florida Do Not Call List or the National Do Not Call Registry.