Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Does dinner time seem more peaceful? The Federal Trade Commission has banned telemarketing pitches known as robocalls unless consumers have agreed in writing to the calls.

Under the new rule, which took effect Sept. 1, most companies who transmit prerecorded messages to consumers without their prior written agreement will face penalties of up to $16,000 per call. There are some prerecorded calls that will not be subject to the new rule, such as those that deliver purely informational messages, and calls from politicians, banks, telephone carriers and most charitable organizations. If you receive a robocall you didn't OK, the FTC recommends you file a complaint online at donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222.

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