Fraud committed by means of unwanted telephone solicitations causes economic harm to Oregonians and constitutes an invasion of privacy and a threat to the welfare of the people of this state.
Unwanted telephone solicitations cause Oregonians harm because:
Telephone solicitations have become a primary tool for the marketing of real estate, goods and services to parties. Telephone solicitors have engaged in the practice of cold calling, which is the initiation of calls to parties with whom the telephone solicitors have no prior business relationship, to market scams, fraudulent schemes and worthless goods and services to unsuspecting parties who often lose thousands of dollars as a result of the solicitations.
Telephone solicitors often make calls based on lists targeting the elderly or other vulnerable populations who are unable to assess the risks associated with engaging in sales transactions over the telephone.
Technologies designed to assist parties in avoiding unwanted telephone solicitations are not effective and place an additional financial burden on parties, effectively shifting the cost of unwanted telephone solicitations to parties. These technologies include:
Caller identification systems, for which parties bear the cost of the caller identification service and any related hardware, and for which technology exists that allows telephone solicitors to block caller identification data;
Privacy manager services that, for a fee, intercept calls; and(iii) Unlisted telephone numbers, for which parties pay an additional fee.
Unwanted telephone solicitations tie up telephone lines and prevent legitimate telephone calls from being received or placed by parties. Predictive dialers utilized by telephone solicitors that automatically dial parties’ telephone numbers frequently result in abandoned telephone solicitations and silence when the party answers the phone. These solicitations constitute an intrusion on the property of parties and an invasion of privacy.
The growing practice of preacquired account telephone solicitation, in which a telephone solicitor acquires the party’s billing information prior to initiating a telephone solicitation, has increasingly resulted in unauthorized charges to parties’ financial accounts.
Existing state and federal laws are inadequate to prevent the harm to the public welfare that results from telephone solicitations.
Allowing parties to choose not to receive unwanted telephone solicitations by placing their telephone numbers on a “do not call” list provides a means by which parties can protect themselves from fraud related to telephone solicitations and from the resulting economic harm and invasion of privacy.