West Virginia Telemarketing Fraud Laws

In the Mountain State, telemarketing fraud is prohibited. Although there are a number of actions which may constitute telemarketing fraud, the crime is generally understood as a false or fraudulent representation or promise, made during a telemarketing communication, that is intended to obtain money, property, or some other thing of value from the consumer.

In West Virginia, in addition to prison time and fines, the defendant may be enjoined from further actions and ordered to pay damages, restitution, or other costs including attorney's fees. Read on to learn more.

Federal "Do Not Call" Registry

West Virginia does not have its own "do not call" list but consumers may sign up for the federal "Do Not Call" registry. A telemarketer is prohibited from calling any person on the list more than 30 days after the person has registered. The following is a quick summary of West Virginia's telemarketing fraud laws.

West Virginia Telemarketing Fraud Laws

The following table outlines West Virginia's telemarketing fraud laws.

Code Sections

W. VA. CODE ยง 46A-6F-401 et seq.

What is Prohibited?

Failing to make certain mandatory disclosures such as:

  • True identity of the telemarketer
  • The purpose of call (i.e. to sell goods or services)
  • Details about the goods, services, or offer, such as the nature, cost, quantity, restrictions, quality, and refund or cancellation policy of the goods or services
  • Material aspects of a prize promotion such as a description and retail value of the prize to be won, identification of the person holding the promotion, and the conditions that must be satisfied to win the prize
  • If it is an investment opportunity, a description of the risk, liquidity, earnings potential, profitability, and benefits of the investment

Not accepting returns or canceling services for a refund during a period of at least 7 days after delivery of the goods or services

Performing an unfair or deceptive act or practice such as:

  • Representing that registration as a West Virginia telemarketer means state or government agency approval
  • Receiving or requesting payment to remove negative information from or improve one's credit history, record, or rating
  • Obtaining or submitting a payment without authority
  • Providing written confirmation regarding a transaction that has not been processed or paid

In addition to the above, there are also abusive telemarketing acts or practices which are prohibited including:

  • Using threats, intimidation, or profane or obscene language
  • Engaging in annoying, abusive, or harassing behavior
  • Calling a person who previously requested no calls
Penalties

In addition to prison time and fines, the court may issue an injunction to stop the fraudulent activity or award declaratory relief, actual damages or restitution. The court may also award costs and reasonable attorney's fees and file an attachment on a property in order to pay for damages, restitution, or other costs.

For unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and transactions where money in excess of the sales agreement was collected, the consumer may seek recovery of actual damages or restitution in addition to a penalty of up to $3,000.

Enforcement Attorney General or district attorney.
Do Not Call Registry Telemarketers are prevented from calling a person who has been on the federal Do Not Call registry for 30 days.

Federal Protections against Telemarketing Fraud

The FCC, FTC, and US Department of Justice enforce federal telemarketing laws, violations of the National "Do Not Call" Registry, and deceptive business practices, including:

FTC's Telephone Sales Rule ("TSR")
FCC's Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA")
Fair advertising and consumer protection laws like the Federal Trade Commission Act

Enforcement Agencies

If you feel you have been victimized by a telemarketing scam, you may contact any of the following federal agencies for assistance:

Federal Trade Commission: 1-877 FTC-HELP or 1-877-382-4357
Federal Communications Commission: 1-888-CALL-FCC or 1-888-225-5322

State resources are also available including:

West Virginia Attorney General: consumer protection division at 1-800-368-8808 (toll free) or 1-304-558-8986

If you or someone you know has been charged with telemarketing fraud, you may also want to contact a West Virginia consumer protection attorney for help.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.