TCPA

The #1 driver of TCPA class litigation comes as a result of lead fraud.

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What is TCPA compliance?

The public viewed unsolicited calls as an invasion of consumer privacy — enter the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Passed in 1991, the TCPA prohibited telemarketing calls to landlines without prior consent. As businesses got smarter, the TCPA was expanded to also cover text messages and mobile calls. 

Additionally, the TCPA creates a corporate liability for companies to maintain their own organization-specific “do not call” lists to prevent them from making unwanted communications. Failure to comply with the rules of the regulation can result in fines, but that isn’t the only risk it poses. Unless someone expressly opted-in to receive a sales call, businesses are breaking this statute with each unsolicited call or text and could be on the hook for hefty fines.  

“If you are a buyer of leads, ad fraud may be your biggest risk right now.”

- Eric J. Troutman

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Why Is TCPA A Problem For Businesses?

Beyond dollars and cents, failure to comply with the TCPA will damage your brand’s reputation as customers become annoyed by your outreach. These sentiments cause an avalanche across your organization when customers spread the word about bad experiences. Since 32 percent of customers would stop doing business with a brand following a single bad experience, you need to be cautious every time you pick up the phone to call a prospect. 

Unfortunately, it’s not simply ensuring you're only contacting people who've given express consent. 

Ad fraud, particularly that which leverages telemarketing tools, is quickly becoming a major problem in the lead generation space. Fraudsters can gain access to a real individual's contact information and use it to fill out phony leads or sign-ups. 

For marketers, the information may be legitimate, but the source isn’t. Performance based marketers may believe they’ve received a new potential lead; however, because the information didn’t come from the user themselves, the client could be breaking TCPA compliance if they reach out. 

This type of ad fraud hurts in two ways: not only is the process hurting the company’s credibility with actual potential customers, but the leads coming in from fraudulent actors are bogus, tanking campaign health and goals. 

No matter what method of blocking you choose, constantly screening your traffic through an ad fraud solution like Anura is one of the best ways to ensure only real, legitimate people are filling out your forms.

Fun Facts
  • Fines range between $500- $1,500 for each violation (call or text).
  • Since 2020, TCPA violations have increased by 400%.
  • As of 2019, the largest fine to date is $925 million for violating TCPA.
  • 95% of customers tell other people about bad experiences with a brand.
  • 32% of customers would stop doing business with a brand following a single bad experience.

Common Myths About TCPA

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Myth #1: TCPA Rules ONLY Apply To Calling Landline Phones

While the TCPA was initially designed to address calls to landline residential phones, the rules have been expanded since then to include cell phones, fax machines, and other communication channels. This was done to help ensure the rule could continue to meet its goal of preventing unwanted, unsolicited, and intrusive communications. 

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Myth #2: I Don’t Need Consent If It Isn’t A Sales Call

Some companies might assume that if they aren’t calling about sales, then they don’t need consent to call per TCPA compliance guidelines. However, this isn’t the case. As noted by call center software provider TCN, “If you are calling a wireless number to provide information or conduct a survey using an autodialer, prior written consent is always required.” 

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Myth #3: I'm Not At Fault If My Contact Changes Phone Numbers

Although contact information is legitimate when first collected, it can quickly be rendered obsolete when a contact changes their information. When this happens, a new consumer may end up with the old contact’s phone number. 

If an affiliate marketer reaches out to such a contact, they’re still in violation of the requirement to receive previous written consent to engage in telemarketing activity. The TCPA puts the burden of identifying and removing obsolete contact information on the affiliate marketer, not on the consumer. 

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Myth #4: An Existing Relationship Always Allows Me to Reach Out with Marketing Messages

Although, the TCPA does stipulate that it is not a violation if the caller has a personal relationship with the recipient, this does not mean that as long as marketers have a prior business relationship, then they always have permission to make marketing calls.  If the consumer opts out of further communications from the marketer, they are no longer allowed to reach out.  In fact, the FCC requires that, in automated communications, marketers must “provide a telephone number that consumers can call during regular business hours to make a company-specific do-not-call request.” 

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Myth #5: I Don’t Need to Document My Call Procedures

One of the most important things a marketer can do for TCPA compliance is have a set of written procedures for how they handle their marketing calls. Having a document to show the FCC and the courts how marketing calls are handled can be crucial for protecting against fines and other penalties for inadvertent TCPA violations. 

Is Ad Fraud Affecting Your TCPA Compliance?

Aside from being fined by the government, violations of TCPA rules can result in a major class action lawsuit. Here’s an outline of TCPA violations & how they can ruin more than just your company's wallet.

What Does Fraud Actually Cost?

Lead generation fraud can drive up the cost of leads and cause numerous other problems for your business.

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Anura's white paper on lead generation fraud's cost

The Marketer’s TCPA Compliance Checklist

Here’s a quick TCPA compliance checklist to help you get started: 

  • Do I have a recent (less than 3 months old) copy of the National Do-Not-Call registry?
  • Do I have a convenient “unsubscribe” option in my telephone and email communications?
  • Do I have written procedures detailing how I scrub my contact database and comply with TCPA requirements?
  • Is there an organization chart showing who is responsible for TCPA compliance?
  • Is there a process flow chart showing the plan for TCPA compliance?
  • Does my company provide training on TCPA to marketing and sales team members?
  • Are there recorded policies and procedures for placing consumers’ names in the company’s “do not call” list?
  • Are there policies for maintaining the “do not call” list and correcting data that is found to be outdated?
  • Do I have a list of people who have specifically opted out of communications from my company (with date and time stamps)?
  • Do my affiliate marketing campaigns have a specific callout for getting permission to contact leads by phone or email?
  • Does my calling equipment (phone, computer, etc.) provide clear and accurate Caller ID information?
  • Does my company comply with national do not call rules?

How Do Ad Fraud Solutions Help With TCPA Compliance?

Achieving TCPA compliance is much easier with the right tools in place. An ad fraud solution can help you stop fraudulent traffic sources from flooding your site so you can cultivate clean data and high-quality leads. With the right tools in place, you can analyze where bad traffic is coming from,  you can take proactive steps to increase your TCPA compliance, prevent bad leads from eating up your marketing budget and boost your ROI. 

To learn more about what you can do to detect and fraud in real-time to protect your data and ensure TCPA compliance, request a trial of Anura today!

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