What is a New Hampshire Robocall?
A robocall is an automated phone call placed using an autodialer to deliver a prerecorded message to a large number of people. Robocalls allow companies to reach thousands of potential consumers in a short period of time. Robocalls can include entire pre-recorded messages, offer pre-recorded messages after consumers respond in a certain way, or offer pre-recorded messages before transferring calls to live operators. This flexibility allows companies to cheaply and easily record messages offering specific products or services, send out hundreds of calls at the same time, and monitor which calls may lead to possible business.
What are New Hampshire Robocall Scams?
Although robocalls have several useful purposes, many instances of robocalls are spam calls made by ill-intentioned persons looking to fleece unsuspecting citizens. These spam calls originate from scammers who will go to any length to steal money or obtain valuable items from their targets.
Sometimes referred to as SPAM over Internet Telephony (SPIT), robocalls are analogous to unsolicited emails on the internet and are driven by the economics of spam. Many small businesses have been built around robocalls, such as number collectors, number validators, list-sellers, robocall-sourcers, and advertisers, all making profit from what is now considered a lucrative venture.
Robocalls are relatively cheap for scammers with many of these calls originating from foreign VoIP devices, traversing the internet, passing through middlemen, and delivering to phone-numbered devices. Reverse phone number search can help differentiate a robocall from a live call.
Over 107 million robocalls were placed to New Hampshire residents in 2018. In 2019, residents received nearly 150 million robocalls. As of October 2020, New Hampshire averaged 83.1 robocalls per person from over 102 million robocalls placed to residents from the beginning of the year.
How are Robocalls Used in New Hampshire Scams?
New Hampshire residents are facing a barrage of unwanted calls, and the onslaught is likely to worsen. Robocalls are annoying and many are used for phone scams or frauds that pose financial risks to unwitting victims or even result in identity theft. Phone spoofing is one common way through which scammers are able to earn the trust of their targets when using robocalls. Phone spoofing is a technology that allows callers to mask their identities by displaying fake caller ID information. Scammers may take up caller IDs of government agencies or reputable businesses and pretend to be employees of such entities.
After getting their targets to answer automated calls, scammers may instruct recipients to press certain numbers to speak to live agents or call out phone numbers for targets to call back. Targets who respond by pressing keys or numbers required during robocalls only indicate to scammers that their lines are active and can be targeted in future robocall scams. Those who contact live agents may be lured into bogus schemes, such as fake investments or phony products in order to steal money or obtain private information.
Does New Hampshire Have Anti-Robocall Laws?
The federal law, Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) restricts robocalls at a federal level and covers citizens in all states in America. However, New Hampshire has a statewide robocall law. Section 359-E of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes prohibits telephone solicitors from placing telemarketing sales calls to customers who have registered their phone numbers with the do-not-call registry maintained by the Federal Trade Commission. No person using an automated telephone dialing system or any other method for solicitation may use any method, including per-call blocking or per-line blocking, to prevent caller ID information from being received by the call recipient.
New Hampshire robocall law forbids telemarketers from making telephone solicitations to residents in the state before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. or sending unsolicited advertisements by fax. Violators of the state's telemarketing laws are liable to pay $5,000 per infringement in civil penalties to the state, along with damages in civil lawsuits by the individuals they contacted illegally.
Are there Special Requirements for Robocalls in New Hampshire?
Yes, robocalls are required to satisfy a set of guidelines in New Hampshire to be considered legitimate. New Hampshire in its efforts to combat the scourge of robocalls has set forth these rules to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate robocalls.
- Calls to phone numbers registered on the do-not-call registry are prohibited
- Robocalls made by political organizations to phone numbers on the do-not-call registry are prohibited
- Telemarketers are required to obtain quarterly listings of New Hampshire customers on the do-not-call registry
- Automated telephone dialing systems used in New Hampshire must be operated to automatically disconnect or release within 30 seconds after the call recipient hangs up.
- Anyone intending to use an automated dialing system for solicitation in the state is required to register with the consumer protection and antitrust bureau of the Department of Justice at least ten business days before using the system
- All robocall transmissions are required to be randomly generated in unequal intervals, and must not infiltrate emergency lines, such as police, fire, or ambulance lines.
- Any telephone solicitation message made through the use of an automated telephone dialing system must disclose immediately after telephone contact, the name of the person, company, or organization making the call, and the purpose of the call and the goods or service being offered, if any.
How Do I Stop Robocalls?
Unwanted telemarketing robocalls have topped complaints to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in recent years. The scourge of robocalls has been fueled with modern computers and VoIP technology which allows unscrupulous operators to inexpensively call thousands of numbers at a time with spam messages, and numbers disguised to make it appear like calls are emanating from local residences and legitimate businesses. It has become critical for New Hampshire residents to take measures to curb robocalls. Reverse phone number lookup can help phone users identify robocalls and avoid falling victims to robocall scams.
Take the following steps to stem the tide of unwanted or unsolicited calls from illegal telemarketers and other robocallers:
- Do not answer calls from unknown phone numbers. Callers typically leave a message if it is urgent.
- Hang up on robocalls. If you hear pre-recorded messages after answering a call, do not listen any further. Hang up immediately.
- Set your phone to block unwanted calls. Both Android and iOS have settings to stop certain calls from getting through to you. You may also contact your service providers if they offer call-blocking features among the services on offer.
- Download and install a third-party call-blocking application, such as Hiya, Nomorobo, Truecaller, or YouMail. These applications recognize robocalls and call block them from coming through. You can find these applications on the Android and iOS app stores.
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry maintained by the Federal Trade Commission. Registration is free and can be done online or by calling 1 (888) 382-1222 from the number you intend to register. If you receive a robocall after 31 days of registration, it is probably a scam call.
- Report robocall numbers to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online or call 1 (888) 382-1222. You can file robocall complaints online with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).