June 15, 2018
On May 18, 2018, Governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina signed the Telephone Privacy Protection Act (the “Act”) into law. The new State telemarketing law is intended to curb caller ID spoofing and promote transparency by requiring marketers to comply with terms similar to federal telemarketing regulations.
How will the new State telemarketing law affect telephone solicitation?
Prohibition on Spoofing
Spoofing is the act of modifying the caller’s area code to, among other things, impersonate a local phone number on caller ID so that people will answer the subject phone calls. The State telemarketing law forbids a solicitor from “display[ing] a South Carolina area code on the recipient’s caller identification system unless the person making, placing, or initiating the call or text message maintains a physical presence in the State.” Additionally, in harmony with the federal Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009, solicitors cannot use spoofing with the intent to defraud, harass, cause harm or wrongfully obtain anything of value from the receiving party. South Carolinians can report spoofed calls to the Office of Consumer Affairs.
New Requirements for Solicitors
Under the new State telemarketing law: 1) solicitors are prohibited from initiating a telephone call or sending a text message before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.; 2) at the outset of the solicitation, the solicitor is required to properly identify itself, the purpose of the solicitation and the option to be added to the solicitor’s in-house do not call list; 3) any request not to receive solicitations must be honored for at least five years from the time the request was made; and 4) a solicitor may not contact a telephone number contained on the National Do Not Call Registry.
Enforcing the State Telemarketing Law
The Act will be enforced by the South Carolina Attorney General and the Department of Consumer Affairs. A person who is harmed by a violation of the Act is entitled to recover damages of one thousand dollars for each violation and five thousand dollars for each violation that a court of law finds is willful, along with reasonable attorneys’ fees and court costs.
Protect Your Business Against Telemarketing-Related Liability
In today’s regulatory environment, it is imperative to have all telemarketing practices and procedures examined by experienced counsel to avoid potentially disastrous consequences for alleged telemarketing-related violations.
If you are interested in learning more about this topic, need to review your telemarketing practices and procedures or if you are facing an investigation from the Federal Trade Commission or other regulatory agency, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at (212) 246-0900.
The material contained herein is provided for information purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.