Do Not Call Fraud Bill Advances in NJ
TRENTON – Joanne DiPisa’s telephone number is on the Do Not Call list, but she still gets unwanted marketing calls.
When the Ocean County woman sees a number come up on her Caller ID as “unknown” or “unavailable,” she hangs up the phone.
“I don’t have time to stay on the phone with these people,” DiPisa said. “What is the Do Not Call list for?”
Proposed legislation would give illegal telemarketing practices special attention by law enforcement. The bill, sponsored by Assemblymen Bob Andrzejczak, D-Cape May, and Daniel Benson, D-Mercer, would establish a telemarketing fraud investigation unit within the state Division of Consumer Affairs.
The state Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee advanced the bill Thursday.
“Unwanted telemarketing calls continue to interrupt lives of New Jersey residents, regardless of whether they have deliberately expressed that they are not interested or perhaps even logged a complaint,” Andrzejczak said.
Under the bill, the unit would investigate complaints of:
• Calls made to people on the state’s Do Not Call list.
• Calls received between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.
• Calls in which telemarketers fail to identify their purpose promptly.
• Calls in which telemarketers block their Caller ID number.
• Calls made to mobile telephones.
The problem goes beyond scammers. Large companies continue to call New Jersey residents who are on the state’s list, Andrzejczak said.
“You have big companies that are calling across the entire country,” he said. “They will call at inappropriate times when they are not supposed to.”
Firms that violate the state’s Do Not Call law face a fine of up to $10,000 for the first offense and up to $20,000 for each subsequent offense.