Whenever I post information about consumers’ telemarketing rights on Facebook, I tend to get questions about scam calls. If you ever wanted to know what to do about unsolicited telephone calls from fraudsters, keep reading…
First of all, let me explain our involvement with BC’s telemarketing industry. Our office oversees BC’s telemarketing laws – rules in place to make sure telemarketers are only contacting consumer at appropriate hours and are keeping certain records. It’s important to know there are certain people or businesses that don’t need to be licensed as telemarketers (these include charities, educational institutions, banks, credit unions, businesses conducting surveys and political organizations).
Why don’t you investigate scam calls?
Scammers who contact you by phone are not legit telemarketers. Many of these calls originate overseas and, because they’re engaging in criminal activity, they aren’t likely to follow BC’s telemarketing laws or the national do not call list (a list overseen by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission – click here for more information). As such, scams and frauds fall under the authority of the police.
What should I do if I get a scam call?
Hang up and make a report with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. You can report an incident online or by phone (1-888-495-8501). The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is jointly managed by the RCMP, the Competition Bureau and the Ontario Provincial Police.
How do I get scam calls to stop?
As we mentioned earlier, it may be difficult to get scam calls to stop because the people calling you are not legitimate telemarketers and are ignoring the law. That said, you still have options and here are a few steps you may want to take:
- Talk to your phone company and see if you have the option to block the number (many cell phones have this capability and there are also some apps you can install for this purpose). The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission recently made an announcement about telephone providers and their responsibility to prevent nuisance calls.
- If you’re a victim of a scam, make a report with your local police. If you think you may be the victim of identity theft, follow the steps found in this article from the RCMP.
We hope you found this information useful!