Understanding the Legal Restrictions for Telemarketers in Florida

Telemarketing crimes are a common form of fraud. Typically, this type of fraud involves a solicitor calling a potential client and requesting that they act fast on an amazing once-in-a-lifetime offer. Of course, the offer is a way to deceive the consumer into providing their payment information over the phone. Florida has instituted several laws to help protect consumers from falling victim to this form of fraud, including the Florida Telemarketing Act. 

With new restrictions in place, telemarketing businesses could face criminal penalties unless they are mindful of recent changes to Florida law. If you have been accused of violating telemarketing laws in Florida, consult a fraud defense attorney in Tampa.  

What You Should Know About Florida Telemarketing Laws

If you own a telemarketing business in Florida, or any business that requires employees to solicit services over the phone, it goes without saying that you need to be aware of telemarketing laws in the Sunshine State. Even if you own a telemarketing business outside of Florida, you can still be held liable for breaking these laws if your phone calls are targeting Florida residents. 

Here is some more information on the requirements of the Florida Telemarketing Act:

  • Licensing: for starters, any company that engages in telemarketing practices needs to be licensed in Florida. In order to qualify your business, you need to obtain a license from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS).
  • Hours of Operation: telemarketing businesses are restricted from making telephone solicitation phone calls before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. Any phone calls made before or after these hours are unlawful. 
  • Introduction: the telemarketer must state their name, the company they represent, and the service they are offering within the first 30 seconds of the phone call. If the caller fails to provide the recipient with information in regard to the origin of their call, this is illegal. Moreover, it’s illegal for the telemarketing company to block their identification through a caller identification system.  
  • Other Requirements: a solicitor cannot provide credit card payment as the only form of payment. The solicitor must also provide the consumer with the resources they need to cancel their order at a later date. 
  • Exemptions: it’s important to note that the above requirements are strictly for non-exempt businesses. For example, churches, political campaigns, and charity organizations are all examples of entities exempt from these requirements.  
  • Phone Call Laws: Florida’s Telemarketing Act does not include any requirements beyond phone calls. In other words, there are no requirements within the Act that prohibits a company from sending a sales offer through a fax machine or another device.   

Consult a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney 

Telemarketing fraud is a serious charge that may be prosecuted on either the state or federal level. Although Florida has its own telemarketing laws, it’s not uncommon for the Federal Trade Commision (FTC) to investigate complaints for cases in which fraud was committed across state lines. Regardless, for telemarketing fraud crimes, it’s best to hire a fraud defense lawyer in Tampa who is experienced defending cases in both Florida and federal court. If you are facing fraud charges, speak with Anthony Rickman of the Rickman Law Firm today.  

For a free consultation with a fraud defense attorney in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation. 

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