Since telemarketing began in earnest back in the early 1980s, this method of generating sales leads has been growing — and learning. Improved technology meant that businesses could lean on computer-integration, predictive dialing, as well as robocalls to reach thousands of potential customers per day. As early as 2000, the top ten telemarketing companies together were able to make over 1 million calls in a single hour, and this method of lead generation isn’t slowing down.
Unfortunately, bad actors can manipulate marketing efforts such as telemarketing to commit call fraud. Call fraud is not only annoying to potential customers but can deviate from other marketing efforts that brands and performance marketers require to launch effective campaigns with better campaign health.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act 101
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.
What does this mean for a business looking to acquire leads? 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. The TCPA authorizes the Federal Communications Commission to collect fines ranging between $500-$1500 for each violation.
With thousands of calls going out each day, businesses can quickly find themselves owing fines in the millions – and their reputation – could be on the line. In fact, since 2010, TCPA violations have increased by 400 percent. It’s common to see class action lawsuit settlements well into the tens of millions of dollars. This year, a jury awarded the largest settlement to date ($925 million dollars) against a dietary supplement company for violating terms of the TCPA.
Fraudsters Are Using Real Information in a Fake Way
Learn more: What Is Ad Fraud?
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as businesses just ensuring that they’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 have 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.
How To Ensure TCPA Compliance
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to avoid fines, determine the quality of leads, and ensure brands and performance marketers are following TCPA guidelines. Anura is an ad fraud solution that can detect, in black and white, if malicious bots, malware, or human click farms are completing forms rather than a real human. This allows marketers to defend against ad fraud that could ruin the metrics behind digital campaigns.
This technology ensures that the people filling out the forms are real and can reach out without a compliance worry. Anura can help keep digital marketers TCPA compliant, preserve brand safety, and increase the return on marketing efforts.
Click here to see a demonstration of how Anura can detect and help eliminate ad fraud from your campaigns.