FTC gets tough on telemarketers

Federal regulators are creating new protections for people plagued by unwanted telemarketing calls, establishing a national "do-not-call" list that consumers can use to keep their phones from ringing with sales pitches.

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION officials said that under the strengthened rules telemarketers also must transmit identifying information that can be viewed by services like Caller ID and limit the number of "abandoned" calls that hang up or leave people listening to silence on the line. The regulations were being made public Wednesday.

The national do-not call registry, first proposed in January, would allow people to stop sales calls made from outside their state. Consumers who register on the Internet or with one call to a toll-free government number would remain on the list for five years before having to renew, FTC officials said.

Officials said the agency is taking bids from companies interesting in creating the registry.

Once the list is operating, telemarketers will have to check the registry every three months to find out who doesn't want to be called, the officials said. Telemarketers who call listed people could be fined up to $11,000 for each violation.

View: Full Story - FTC creates national "do not call" list

News source: MSNBC News

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