Summary: The Protection Against Robocalls Act bans most automated and prerecorded robocalls, and prohibits telemarketers from using false or misleading caller IDs.
Based on Maine LD 277 (enacted 2019)
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE
This Act shall be called the “Protection Against Robocalls Act.”
SECTION 2. PURPOSE
This law is enacted to protect residents from predatory telemarketers and telemarketing scams.
SECTION 3. PROHIBITION
After section XXX, the following new section XXX shall be inserted:
(A) DEFINITIONS—In this section:
(1) “Misleading or inaccurate caller identification information” includes, to the extent consistent with federal law, blocked caller identification information.
(2) “Telemarketing” means a plan, program or campaign that is conducted by use of one or more telephones or other telecommunications services, including interconnected voice over Internet protocol and text messaging, to induce the purchase of goods or services or a charitable contribution. “Telemarketing” does not include the solicitation of sales through the mailing of a catalog that contains a written description or illustration of the goods or services offered for sale, the business address of the seller and multiple pages of written material or illustrations, and that is issued not less frequently than once a year, if the person making the solicitation does not solicit customers by telephone but only receives calls initiated by customers in response to the catalog and during those calls takes orders without further solicitation. For purposes of this paragraph, “further solicitation” does not include providing the customer with information about, or attempting to sell, any other item included in the same catalog that prompted the customer’s call or in a substantially similar catalog.
(1) A person may not use an automated telephone calling device or an artificial or prerecorded voice to make solicitation calls to:
(a) any emergency telephone numbers in this State including, but not limited to, the emergency telephone numbers of any hospital, physician, health care facility, ambulance service, or fire or law enforcement officer or facility;
(b) any paging or cellular phone within the State;
(c) any unlisted, unpublished, toll-free long distance or direct inward dial telephone number within the State.; or
(d) any residential telephone number within the State.
(2) This section does not prohibit the use of an automated telephone calling device or an artificial or prerecorded voice to:
(a) inform purchasers of the receipt, availability or delivery of goods or services or any other pertinent information on the status of any purchased goods or services;
(b) respond to a telephone inquiry initiated by the person to whom the automated call or call using an artificial or prerecorded voice is directed;
(c) carry out the duties of any state or local governmental unit. or school administrative unit or private school;
(d) deliver an emergency message by a governmental entity;
(e) deliver information with the prior, written, express consent of the recipient of the call; or
(f) communicate with a business about reservations, purchases and other information for customers such as hours of operation, directions and merchandise availability.
(3) It is an unfair trade practice, as prohibited by [section] and enforced by the [Office of the Attorney General], for a seller or telemarketer to cause any caller identification services to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller identification information with the intent to defraud or cause harm to another person or to wrongfully obtain anything of value.
(4) It is not a violation of this section for:
(a) a seller or telemarketer to substitute for the name and telephone number used in or billed for making the call the name of the seller or charitable organization on whose behalf the telemarketing call is placed or the seller’s or charitable organization’s customer or donor service telephone number that is answered during regular business hours; or
(b) a telecommunications carrier, as defined in 47 United States Code, Section 153(51), to provide telecommunications service, as defined in 47 United States Code, Section 153(53).
(1) Violation of this section is punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 for each individual violation.
(2) The [Office of the Attorney General] is empowered to seek an injunction to stop and prevent violations of this section, as well as other equitable relief as a court may deem appropriate and just.
SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE
This law shall become effective on July 1, 20XX.