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Biden, 37 Colleagues Call For Stronger Rule to Protect Consumers Against Telemarketers

Date Posted: Monday, November 24th, 2014
Categories:  Consumer Protection Department of Justice DOJ Press Releases

DOVER – Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden urged the Federal Trade Commission on Monday to update the agency’s Telemarketing Sales Rule to reflect the realities of today’s marketplace and give consumers more protections against unscrupulous telemarketers.

 

Biden and Attorneys General from 37 other U.S. states and territories, in a letter sent Monday, asked the FTC to update the Telemarketing Sales Rule to further protect consumers from the continued prevalence of telemarketing fraud and abuse.

 

“Scammers are constantly concocting new schemes to try to trick people into giving them money, and may times those scams involve telemarketing,” Biden said.

 

The attorneys general support the existing Telemarketing Sales Rule but contend that the following are areas of concern:

 

  • An increase in the number of fraud complaints from consumers who are  contacted by telephone;

 

  • The pervasiveness of general media solicitations and advertisements that have resulted in the growth of inbound telemarketing;

 

  • The use of certain payment methods that allow retrieval of funds with little meaningful scrutiny of the recipient’s identity; and

 

  • Telemarketers’ use of consumers’ debit and credit card account information obtained prior to telemarketing sales calls.

Telemarketing and its abuses occur when consumers are engaged in phone calls with businesses in the privacy of their homes or on their personal cellular telephones. State attorneys general are on the forefront in fielding consumer complaints, investigating, and taking legal actions against those who prey on victims using telemarketing and negative option scams. According to recent statistics by the FTC, more than 3.7 million telemarketing complaints were filed with the Commission. Telemarketing complaints also rank among the top five complaint categories received from citizens in many states.

 

Delawareans who believe they have been contacted as part of a telemarketing scam can call Biden’s Consumer Protection Unit at 1-800-220-5424 or can e-mail consumer.protection@state.de.us.

 

The states and territories that signed today’s letter are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.

 

The full text of the comments from the Attorneys General can be found here: http://bit.ly/1xutJyM

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