Louisiana robocalls are telephone calls that deliver pre-recorded messages using auto-dialers in the state. When you answer a phone call and hear an automated voice, that is a robocall. These calls are inundating, and they intrude into the personal lives of Louisianians. There is a common belief that robocalls are synonymous with scams, but this is not true. Not all robocalls are illegal. For instance, government agencies in Louisiana make public announcements using robocalls, while political groups utilize them during election campaigns. Also, robocalls are telemarketers' best tools for advertising. These and many other legitimate purposes were the reason for the robocall initiative before it became an instrument of theft in the hands of fraudsters.
A significant number of commercial robocalls try to sell fake goods and services. These are called spam calls. Any robocall that attempts the sale of a product or service without the prior consent of the called party is illegal. To know if an incoming call is a robocall, run such a number through a reverse phone number lookup application. The Louisiana Public Service Commission (LSPC) regulates the use of robocalls in the state.
What are Louisiana Robocall Scams?
These are the types of phone scams orchestrated in the State of Louisiana using robocalls as the medium. Unlike legitimate robocalls, these illegal robocalls are out to steal money and sensitive information from Louisianians. Using reverse phone lookup services can help them identify these types of calls and avoid scams. Phone scammers sometimes select a lot of numbers at random and robocall them to identify those that are in use for subsequent fraudulent engagements. Initiating robocalls is easy and cheap. Its users can manipulate their identities by spoofing Caller IDs, which makes it quite appealing to phone scammers. Robocalls also make it easy for fraudsters to reach sizable targets with minimal effort. Louisianians can report incidents of robocall scams online to the FCC and FTC.
Every phone user in Louisiana deals with more than one robocall per day. The state saw its robocalls jump by about 23% in 2019 from 2018. About 1.67 billion robocalls were made to Louisiana in 2019 out of the over 58 billion recorded in the United States. The state ranked second in the robocall-a-day club, with approximately 371 robocalls per resident in that year. In 2020, close to 1 billion robocalls have been recorded in Louisiana as of October same year.
How are Robocalls Used in Louisiana Scams?
Robocall scams fool Louisianians by impersonating legitimate businesses via a process called phone spoofing. Phone spoofing enables phone scammers to conceal their real identities when using robocalls. They often imitate well-known organizations or government agencies to establish trust. Most phone scammers who use robocalls do their homework to have some personal details about their targets. When such fraudsters robocall their marks with spoofed Caller IDs, they are more likely to reveal additional identifying information. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) provides tips on how to stop unwanted robocalls and avoid phone scams. Reverse phone lookup applications can also help Louisianians differentiate robocalls from live calls to prevent phone scams.
Does Louisiana Have Anti-Robocall Laws?
In the interest of protecting the privacy of phone users in Louisiana, the State Legislature enacted the Telephone Solicitation Relief Act of 2001. This legislation is particularly for residents who wish to avoid unwanted telephone solicitations in the state. It directed the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) to enforce regulations and maintain a working Do Not Call Register by January 1, 2002. The Act sought to prohibit persons who sell their services using robocalls and other telephone solicitations from calling residents listed on the Louisiana DNC Register. A few exemptions, however, exist to the provisions in the Act. Persons or entities who violate this law may pay up to $3000 in penalties for each violation against a residential telephone user.
Attorney General Jeff Landry of Louisiana was a part of the coalition that came up with the anti-robocall principles. These eight principles are also valid in Louisiana, and they aim to protect residents from illegal robocalls. The participating telephone service providers (TSPs) in that coalition stated that they would incorporate the agreed rules in their business practices to curb the robocall menace. These principles include the implementation of the STIR/SHAKEN for call authentication. The TSPs also said they would provide free call blocking and labeling tools for telephone users.
Are there Special Requirements for Robocalls in Louisiana?
Understanding the requirements of legitimate robocalls can help in avoiding robocall scams. In Louisiana, a robocall must meet such conditions to qualify as a legitimate one. It is essential to state that automated calls that do not satisfy these requirements are out to rip off the recipients of such calls. Generally, robocalls use special equipment called Automatic Dialing Announcing Device (ADAD) to place calls. Any call made by an ADAD that does not meet the following requirements are deemed illegal:
- Persons placing robocalls must have the call recipients' prior written consent or permission before making such calls.
- Robocalls should not be placed any time other than the period between the hours 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. They must not also be made on Sundays and public holidays.
- It is illegal to use ADADs for random or sequential dialing of telephone numbers.
- Robocalls must announce the names and telephone numbers of persons or entities making such calls within the first 25 seconds of contact. They must also state the same details at the end of the engagement. The announced phone numbers in these calls must be reachable during business hours.
- Robocalls must not be made to places such as hospitals, fire protection agencies, or law enforcement agencies.
Some of the exceptions to these requirements are:
- Calls for the collection of lawful debts.
- Calls placed for political campaigns.
- Calls to notify the public of emergencies.
- Calls to people with whom the callers had previous business relationships.
- Calls by charities to persons who had made donations or have shown interest in doing so.
How Do I Stop Robocalls?
Robocalls are inundating, and the scams executed using these unwanted calls are becoming more sophisticated. Consumers now hardly trust phone numbers that appear on their Caller IDs because of illegal robocalls. The losses that arise from robocall scams are always huge, which is why Louisianians must do all it takes to stop robocalls. Reverse phone lookup services can help you identify robocalls and avoid scams. While eliminating all robocalls might be challenging, doing the following will help you reduce the number of robocalls coming through your phone:
- Do not answer calls from numbers you do not know. Persons with genuine intentions will leave messages for you. If you answer a phone call and realize it is a robocall, you should hang up immediately.
- Screen unknown phone numbers by setting your phone to notify you of calls from numbers in your contact list only.
- Register your number on the National Do Not Call List and Louisiana Do Not Call List. Doing these will make legitimate telemarketers avoid your number. You will still get some unwanted calls, but the number of robocalls will significantly reduce. You can enroll on the National DNC List online or call 1 (888) 382-1222 from the number you wish to register. To register on the Louisiana DNC List, dial 1 (877) 676-0773 and follow the prompts.
- Use third-party call-blocking applications available for your cell phones to stop unsolicited calls. Applications such as Truecaller, Nomorobo, and Hiya are examples of such applications.
- File reports of identified robocall numbers online with the FTC. If you get a spoofed robocall, report it to the FCC.