Spam Text Messages and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act

Nearly every bulk text (SMS) message sent to a cellular phone in the United States violates federal law – specifically, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), 47 U.S.C. § 227.  Enacted in 1991 primarily to constrain the growing scourge of invasive telemarketing calls, the TCPA has more recently been applied to cases of mass marketing, or “spam,” SMS text messages.  In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that such unsolicited text messages fall within the TCPA’s prohibitions on automatic telephone dialer calls.  Yet bulk text messages remain a commonplace nuisance for most people who rely on cellular phones.

The TCPA provides serious remedies to consumers who receive bulk text messages without their consent: $500 per message, or $1,500 per message for willful violations of the TCPA. These penalties quickly add up given the often repetitive nature of spam text messages.

The TCPA and its penalty provisions were designed to encourage consumers and consumer lawyers to act as “private attorneys general,” effectively assisting the Federal Communications Commission to enforce limitations on telephone system abusers.  If you receive unsolicited bulk text messages, do not just delete them.  Westbrook Law PLLC can assist you to determine whether the law has been broken, enforce the law and, in the process, pursue a monetary recovery for you under the TCPA.

Contact us to arrange a free consultation.

Junk Faxes Violate Federal Law

Most businesses and individuals who maintain dedicated telephone lines for fax machine use have experienced the common annoyance of the junk fax.  The machine beeps, picks up a call, and proceeds to print out an unwanted message from a solicitor that quickly finds its way into the recycling bin.  The practice of junk faxing not only ties up fax lines and wastes paper and supplies; it also violates the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(C).  Recognizing this pervasive problem and the fact that each junk fax does a measurable but very small amount of damage, to discourage this practice, the TCPA provides for “statutory damages” in the amount of $500 per junk fax, or $1,500 per junk fax for willful violations.  These amounts quickly add up when multiple faxes are received.

Our office has developed expertise in tracking down the elusive origins of junk faxes and in enforcing the TCPA.  If your business or personal fax machine receives junk faxes, DO NOT THROW THEM AWAY.  Keep them, and contact us for a free consultation.