Oregon Telemarketing Fraud Laws

Have you ever received a telephone call out of the blue that offered you a free timeshare or other product that just sounded too good to be true? If so, you were likely a target of telemarketing fraud or a scam. Criminals who use telephones to target victims commit Oregon telemarketing fraud. The good news is that there are many laws that help regulate this type of telephone solicitation. Here's what you need to know to protect yourself from it happening again:

Federal Law and Telemarketing

If telemarketing fraud happens to you in Oregon, there are federal as well as Oregon laws that can assist you. Usually, it's up to the consumer to report alleged bad behavior to the federal government. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates all forms of interstate and international telephone communications (amongst other types) and the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act allows for consumers to sign up to a "Do Not Call" registry that will protect them from such harassment. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice enforce the telemarketing laws for violations of the Do Not Call registry protection.  

Applicable Oregon Law

Oregon has enacted consumer laws to protect consumers from telemarketing fraud. Most importantly, a telemarketing company needs to be registered with the Oregon Attorney General's Office in order to do business. If they don't have a license they are in violation of the law.

If you're in Oregon, then you can sign up for the federal Do Not Call registry to greatly reduce the number of calls you receive. However, under Oregon law there are still some solicitation calls that are exempt from this protection. According to the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Protection, these include calls from:

  • Debt collectors
  • Public agencies
  • Political campaigns and messages
  • Businesses that already have your custom
  • Charities to which you have already donated

Disclosures Telemarketers Must Make

A telemarketer must tell you their name, the business from which they are calling and, that the call is a sales call in nature. They also must make other certain disclosures to you. If they don't, they are in violation of the law.

Enforcing your rights

After signing up to the Do Not Call registry and you are still receiving calls or are a victim of a telemarketing scam then you can have your rights enforced by:

  • Filing a consumer complaint: However, you should note that Oregon law prohibits the Attorney General and employees of the Department of Justice from providing legal advice to private individuals.
  • File suit: The Oregon Attorney General or district attorney can bring a civil suit against a telemarketer seeking an injunction from the bad business practices, civil penalties, or prosecution for the crime of fraud. Consumers can also bring suit in federal court.

Under the TCPA, telemarketers also aren't allowed to use automated dialing or prerecorded voice, often called Robocalls, to call you.

The following table highlights the main provisions of Oregon's telemarketing fraud laws.

Code Section

Oregon has enacted consumer laws to protect consumers from telemarketing fraud - ORS 646.551 et seq.ORS 646.611OAR 137-020-0200 to OAR 137-020-0300

Enforcement Agencies

Oregon Attorney General, District Attorney, City Attorney

Remedies

Injunction, Civil Fines, and Penalties

Disclosures

Telemarketers must disclose it's a sales call before sales pitch begins.

Robocalls

Please see ORS 646A.370 et seq., and related federal automatic dialing and announcing device regulations for more information.

License

Telemarketers must have a license to operate or call into Oregon.

Do Not Call Registry?

Oregon uses the National Do Not Call Registry

Because telemarketing laws change frequently and can be complicated, it may be a good idea to consult an experienced Oregon consumer protection lawyer or call the Attorney General's Consumer Hotline between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at (503) 378-4320 from Salem
 at (503) 229-5576 from Portland (toll free)
 at 1-877-877-9392 elsewhere in Oregon (toll free), or email: help@oregonconsumer.gov

See Telemarketing Fraud, Financial Crimes, and White Collar Crimes for more information.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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