State Lawmakers Battle Unsolicited Callers

State Lawmakers Battle Unsolicited Callers

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News Specialist Jed Boal reporting Lawmakers in Washington and here in Utah want to help people hang up on unwanted phone calls forever.

Millions of Americans want the unwanted ringing to stop. Two days ago, Congress overwhelmingly voted to establish a national "do-not-call list".

Telemarketers will fund the database. By summer, you should be able to enroll for free on the Internet or by phone.

Here in Utah, the Attorney General and citizens groups want to establish a statewide list. The bill's sponsor says the statewide list would save the telemarketers time and money.

They wouldn't have to waste a call to someone who isn't buying, and it would give consumers the privacy they want.

"This is by far the number one complaint that we receive at the division -- people wanting the opportunity to be put on a list and stop the phone calls coming through," says Francine Giani, director of the Division of Consumer Protection.

Fifty-percent of these calls go to people 50 and over.
Ten percent are deemed fraudulent.

If you like the solicitations, you don't have to join the list. Telemarketers would have to buy the lists, and consumers would pay a small annual fee to be on it.

Senate Bill 194 would link the state with the national database.

"By merging the two together, we're going to have overall coverage inside the state of Utah and at the federal level," says the bill's sponsor, Sen. David Thomas, R-South Weber.

You'll hear more about the bill this legislative session. If it passes, fines would be established for companies that violate the lists.

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