Utah Telemarketing Fraud Laws

When misrepresentations are made over the phone with the intent to make money, or for personal gain, telemarketing fraud has occurred. These phone calls are usually unsolicited and the misrepresentation is made in order to convince the victim to provide their credit card or identifying information. Both federal and state laws criminalize telemarketing fraud. This article focuses on Utah's telemarketing fraud laws.

Prohibited Conduct for Telemarketers in Utah

In order to deter telemarketing fraud, Utah has passed laws that regulate what solicitors are required to do and what they are prohibited from doing. The chart below outlines Utah's law on prohibited conduct for telephone solicitations.

Code Section

Utah Code section 13-25a-103: Prohibited Conduct for Telephone Solicitations

Definitions

Telephone solicitation: Initiating a phone call for a commercial purpose or to seek a financial donation.

Telephone solicitor: Any person, firm, organization, partnership, association, or corporation who makes unsolicited telephone calls.

What's Required/ Prohibited?

1. Telephone solicitors calling with an automated dialing system may only call:

  • A party that previously agreed to receive a telephone solicitation from the specific solicitor, or
  • A party that the solicitor already has an established business relationship with

2. Solicitors may not call a residence (without express prior consent) before 8 a.m., after 9 p.m., on a Sunday, or on a legal holiday.

3. Solicitors may not make a telephone solicitation in violation of the federal law restricting the use of telephone equipment (47 U.S.C. section 227).

4. Solicitors making an unsolicited call must:

  • Identify themselves
  • Identify the business that they are calling on behalf of
  • Promptly identify the purpose of the call
  • Stop the solicitation if the person called gives a negative response at any time, and
  • If the person called terminates the call, the solicitor must hang up the phone within 25 seconds

5. Solicitors may not block caller identification services.

Penalties

Solicitors who violate this law are subject to a fine of between $100 and $2,500 for each violation.

Any solicitor who intentionally violates this law commits a Class A misdemeanor, and may be fined up to $2,5000.

Utah's Telephone Fraud Prevention Act

Code Section

Utah Code section 13-26-11: Telephone Fraud Prevention Act – Prohibited Practices

What's Prohibited?

It is unlawful for any solicitor to:

  • Make a telemarketing call on behalf of a soliciting business that isn't properly registered (or exempt from registration)
  • Use a fake name during a telephone solicitation
  • Make any untrue material statements, or fail to disclose a material fact necessary to make a statement made not misleading
  • Make any misrepresentations about complying with this law
  • Fail to refund money within 30 days after a buyer exercises his right to cancel a sale, or
  • Fail to orally advise a buyer of his right to cancel the sale (if applicable)

It is unlawful for any telephone soliciting business to:

  • Cause or permit any solicitor to violate this law, or
  • Use inmates in telephone soliciting operations where the inmates have access to personal data about an individual sufficient to physically locate or contact that individual

Penalties

First offense: Class B misdemeanor.

Second offense: Class A misdemeanor.

Third or subsequent offense: Third degree felony.

Violators may also be fined up to $2,500 per violation.

No-Call Database

Utah maintains a "no-call database" that compiles a list of telephone numbers of people who have expressed that they don't want to receive unsolicited phone calls. This list consists of the Utah phone numbers that are contained in the national do-not-call registry. Registering your phone number with the National Do Not Call List can help reduce your risk of being victimized by telephone fraud.

Federal Laws that Govern Telemarketing

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information about Utah's telemarketing fraud laws contact a local criminal defense attorney or consumer protection lawyer.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.