Unwanted calls no more! Telemarketing and fraudulent calls to incur criminal liability soon

The pesky calls and other modes of unsolicited commercial communication will soon be classified as unfair trade practices.

By  Storyboard18May 14, 2024 12:37 PM
Unwanted calls no more! Telemarketing and fraudulent calls to incur criminal liability soon
As per media reports, the Department of Consumer Affairs is working to bring out relevant guidelines in a couple of months. These will put accountability on telemarketers and their principal entities such as banks, real estate companies or any other consumer-facing business. while sending promotional or transactional messages or making such calls for customer conversion. (Image source: Unsplash)

Taking cognisance of financial frauds perpetrated through mobile phones, the Centre will soon classify pesky calls and other modes of unsolicited commercial communication as unfair trade practices. The move will make such callers and message senders criminally liable under consumer protection laws.

It is to be noted that under section 2 (28) and 2(47) of Consumer Protection Act, 2019 respectively, unwarranted or unsolicited commercial communication is misleading and unfair trade practice.

As per media reports, the Department of Consumer Affairs is working to bring out relevant guidelines in a couple of months. These will put accountability on telemarketers and their principal entities such as banks, real estate companies or any other consumer-facing business. while sending promotional or transactional messages or making such calls for customer conversion.

These proposed guidelines will define what all would come under such fraudulent calls and the focus will be on fixing accountability and ensuring all promotional and transactional communications happen only through the authorised channels. Additionally, the norms will ensure to prohibit the communication in violation of the regulator-prescribed numbers series.

In February 2024, the Consumer Affairs Ministry of India formed a committee to draft guidelines to address unsolicited commercial calls. The committee then advised telemarketers from various sectors to prefix their phone numbers with the 140 number series so that consumers can identify the caller. The committee also emphasised that telemarketers should comply with the enabling provisions.

First Published on May 14, 2024 12:37 PM

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