AADT Receives Hundreds of Calls Due to Deceptive Faxes, Emails And Text Messages from Unscrupulous Competitors
A few months ago, we warned our members and clients that certain drug testing consortiums are utilizing illegal and highly deceptive marketing schemes to virtually scare people/AADT clients into doing the wrong thing.
In general, these companies utilize one page letters or notices sent via email, fax, junk mail and even in text messages. They contain headings like: COMPLIANCE NOTICE or FINAL NOTICE, images of government buildings and barcodes, along with Federal DOT #XXXXXX, and threating code sections etc. It’s all a scam!
The laws – both state and federal – are clear in this area; spam – or unwanted messages to email accounts and texts to mobile phones and other mobile devices and faxes – are intrusive and costly. The FCC rules protect consumers under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act and the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005 (Junk Fax Act) (Pub.L.No.109-21, 119 Stat 359) are all spelled out in rules adopted by the Federal Communication Commission, www.fcc.gov (FCC).
Unwanted texts and TCPA
FCC rules ban text messages sent to a mobile phone using an auto-dialer unless you previously gave consent to receive the message or the message is sent for emergency purposes. The ban applies even if you have not placed your mobile phone number on the national Do-Not-Call list.
Unwanted texts, email and the CAN-SPAM Act Federal rules require the following for commercial email sent to your mobile phone:
Identification – The email must be clearly identified as a solicitation or advertisement for products or services.
Opt-Out – The email must provide easily-accessible, legitimate and free ways for you to reject future messages from that sender.
Return Address – The email must contain legitimate return email addresses, as well as the sender’s postal address.
You also have a right to sue an unwanted fax sender
Yes. You can file your own lawsuit in state court and the penalty is $500/unwanted fax. For more on what consumers can do, we suggest a visit to this Website, www.junkfax.org
Fake Government Solicitations
Furthermore, state law specifically protects consumers against any misleading advertisements that could be misinterpreted to believe that it is from a governmental entity when it is actually not. Business & Professions Code § 17533.6 establishes that it is: “unlawful forany person, firm, corporation, or association that is a nongovernmental entity to use a seal, emblem, insignia, trade or brand name, or any other term, symbol, or content that reasonably could be interpreted or construed as implying any federal, state, or local government…connection, approval, or endorsement of any product or service… unless the nongovernmental entity has an expressed connection with, or the approval or endorsement of, a federal, state, or local government…”
We Have a Plan
If these types of unwanted solicitations are bothering or angering you and you would like to make sure they are stopped, join us as we intend to investigate every legal option available to us to stop such unprofessional and blatantly illegal activity. If this bad behavior is any indication of the professional philosophy of these businesses you should turn and run away as fast as possible. We need copies of all of your unsolicited faxes, emails and text message from these companies or others. We will then coordinate a comprehensive legal effort to stop it. We hope to hear from all of you!
Please contact your AADT service rep by phone or email.