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Rules crack down on robocalls

Monday - 9/30/2013, 10:00am  ET

WASHINGTON - Telemarketers will soon find it more difficult to bother you on your landline or mobile phone.

Starting Oct. 16, the Federal Communications Commission prohibits callers from using a prerecorded message to reach customers without their written consent. The policy falls under tightened rules in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which now requires that all businesses have your signed written agreement before they can contact you through an auto-dial.

Businesses caught violating new policies could face hefty penalties per call.

The FCC revisions are analogous to a Federal Trade Commission rule that went into effect on Sept. 1, 2009.

Tired of too many robocalls? The FTC suggests you hang up and tell authorities. Find more information on reporting your experience to the FTC. You may report the robocalls to the FTC at 1-888-382-1222.

This article has been amended to correctly identify the federal agency involved as the FCC.

WTOP's Rosemary Frisino-Toohey contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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