Some phone scams may purport to be calls from charities or banks while others may attempt to claim that they are calls from agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or other federal agencies. Phone calls claiming to be family members in distress are also a common phone scam.
If you have been accused of running some kind of phone scam in Pennsylvania, you may be facing serious state or federal charges. A Pennsylvania phone scam lawyer can help you fight your criminal charges and work for the most favorable possible outcome to your case.
Pennsylvania Telemarketing Fraud Laws
The Pennsylvania Telemarketer Registration Act is found in Title 73 Pennsylvania Statutes §§ 2241–2249. The Act states that a telemarketer or telemarketing business that employs a telemarketer must register with the Office of Attorney General at least 30 days before selling goods or services.
The Act makes it illegal for any telemarketer sell said goods or services unless the business without registering. If the telemarketer or the telemarketing business does not complete this registration, they can face charges for a second-degree misdemeanor.
Pennsylvania Statutes § 2245 prohibits acts and behaviors for telemarketing companies One such rule establishes the hours in which telemarketers can call customers, while another requires telemarketers to state what company they represent during the first call.
Do Not Call List
The Pennsylvania Do Not Call List that prohibits telemarketers from contacting phone numbers in this database. The organization that manages this information releases quarterly updates, and telemarketers must update their own call lists within 30 days of the new report.
Pennsylvania Phone Scam Penalties
Phone scams in Pennsylvania are typically prosecuted as fraud offenses, and the classification of such crimes will usually depend on the amount of money that was involved in an alleged scam, according to Title 18, Pennsylvania Statutes § 4107. Possible penalties for convictions are enumerated in Title 30 of the Pennsylvania Statutes.
Federal Telemarketing Fraud Laws
Federal laws also establish criminal penalties for people who engage in mail fraud or wire fraud by utilizing a telemarketing or email marketing approach. Title 18 U.S. Code Chapter 113A included telemarketing definitions, as well as penalties, forfeiture procedures, and restitution directions.
The key thing to understand about the federal law relating to the definition of telemarketing or email marketing is that the phrase is not limited to phone calls and emails. Text messaging, instant messaging, and other electronic means of communication also qualify as telemarketing.
Federal law does not count written solicitations that are catalogs or brochures. Some people could also face possible federal wire fraud or mail fraud penalties. Wire fraud is a federal crime associated with mailing or electronically transmitting something associated with fraud.
Federal Phone Scam Penalties
Under 18 U.S. Code § 2326, a person convicted of telemarketing fraud or planning to commit the fraud can face up to five years in prison. The government also has enhanced penalties depending on certain details of the telemarketing fraud. For example, telemarketing fraud that specifically targeted older adults can increase the prison terms. Convictions of fraud can also have financial penalties.
The Benefits of a Pennsylvania Phone Scam Lawyer
If you have been accused facilitating phone scam in Pennsylvania, you can contact McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. David C. McKenzie III is renowned by his past clients for his professionalism and thoroughness in handling every criminal case.
David McKenzie will be able to speak to explore possible settlement options that may include reductions in sentences. He will also explore all available evidence to determine the strongest possible defenses against criminal charges, which could possibly mean a dismissal of charges.
David McKenzie is a former prosecutor who will offer you a perspective that cannot be found in most other legal offices. Our firm has extensive experience handling both state and federal criminal cases. We are prepared to fight for you and can offer you a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your case and help you understand your rights.
Criminal Defense Methods
As with any criminal case, there may be multiple defenses that we could use to fight your charges. We could argue that you did not intend to commit fraud, or that some misunderstanding created the situation you are in. Another defense could be one of mistaken identity—law enforcement may have arrested the wrong individual, or even gone after the wrong company.
Additionally, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. The prosecutor must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are guilting of the charges levied against you. David McKenzie will work tirelessly to dispute these charges and make sure your legal rights are being protected throughout this process.
Defending yourself without representation, while possible, is difficult. You have enough to worry about, don’t build a defense case on your own; let David’s years of experience in Pennsylvania law work in your favor.
Common Phone Scams in Pennsylvania
Phone scams may target anyone, but older adults are often targets of these practices. According to a 2018 report by the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging, some the most common scams in Pennsylvania included:
- IRS impersonation scams
- Elder financial abuse
- Computer tech support scams
These scams defraud adults out of money and compromise the victim’s personal information, which is especially devasting for older adults living on a fixed income. Pennsylvania’s penalties for fraud against older adults mean that telemarketers can face increased sentences and fines.
Call the McKenzie Law Firm Today
Call or schedule a free consultation online right now with McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. Everyone has a right to a lawyer, and you deserve representation. You don’t have to face your phone scam charges alone.