Office of the Attorney General
AG Conway Urges FTC to Update Telemarketing Sales Rules to Protect Consumers

Press Release Date:  Monday, November 24, 2014  
Contact Information:  Allison Gardner Martin
Communications Director
502-696-5651 (office)
 


Attorney General Jack Conway today urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to update the Telemarketing Sales Rule to reflect the realities of today’s marketplace and give consumers more protections against unscrupulous telemarketers.

In a letter sent to the FTC, Attorney General Conway and 37 other attorneys general asked the agency to update the Telemarketing Sales Rule to further protect consumers from the continued prevalence of telemarketing fraud and abuse.

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 agency in 2013. Telemarketing complaints also rank among the top five complaint categories received from citizens in many states.

“Last year, my Office of Consumer Protection received nearly 1,300 complaints about unwanted calls,” Attorney General Conway said.  “As always, I encourage Kentuckians to sign up for Kentucky’s No Call List, which helps deter unwanted and fraudulent calls and text messages, by visiting nocall.ky.gov.  Consumers who are registered on the No Call List and receive an unwanted call can also file a complaint on the website.”

In addition to Kentucky, the states and territories that signed today’s letter include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, 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.

A copy of the letter is available here: http://tinyurl.com/myufxx2.