HOUSTON - Not only are automated telemarketing robocalls calls to your cell phone bothersome, if you haven’t given your permission, they are illegal.
More consumers are forcing illegal robocallers to pay up, including one man from Texas.
Dan Graham, a CPA who works in Austin and Dallas, says he’s turning annoying telemarketing robocalls into cash.
"The gross is over $105,000 at this point," said Graham.
He started when the calls just kept coming, spoofing local numbers.
Graham recalled having to work away from his family and receiving robocalls that made him worry about his wife and baby.
"I've had calls from hospitals, spoofing hospital phone numbers. I haven’t seen my wife or my kid in days," said Dan. "It started getting my blood boiling."
He started filing lawsuits, and shares with other consumers how to do the same.
First, put your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry, he says. It takes 30 days.
Then, start taking the calls to find out the business that's really calling.
Graham faked a conversation for us. "'Tell me more. What’s your name? My name is Dan. We’re selling a car warranty,'" Graham pretended. "Give them some car information. ‘I drive a 2016 Toyota Camry. Tell me more, tell me more, I’m interested.’"
Graham says he then reaches out to the company to ask them to stop the illegal practice. He says some have.
But when they don't, he sues them in small claims court for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
Settlements range from $500 to thousands of dollars, depending on how many times they've called.
"They’re going to reach out to you and ask for more details. At this point, you should have documented this pretty well. You should be able to answer: when they called, how many times they called," said Graham.
He says be prepared to argue the law. He says the cash is nice, but he hopes enough people suing will stop the calls.
"Companies need to start being responsible and ethical in how they're outsourcing these kinds of behavior," said Graham.
You can see Graham's videos explaining how to file TCPA lawsuits here.
Another Texas resident, Doc Compton, sells a kit on how to sue illegal robocallers, as well.