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Cuomo signs Grisanti legislation to protect consumers

by jmaloni
Thu, Oct 4th 2012 04:55 pm

New law will stop telephone scammers who charge fees to unsuspecting callers and requires notification of ensuing charges

State Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-60th, has announced that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed Bill S7652 into law. The measure, sponsored by Grisanti, requires persons or entities operating a telecommunications service system to provide notice when the caller will be charged a fee on their telephone bill. The purpose of the new law is to prevent unsuspecting victims from dialing local information and resources telephone numbers that turn out to be telephone scams costing money.

Many, if not most times, the caller receives worthless information after making the call and then notices a "remote call forwarding" charge on their next telephone bill. This new law requires a notice of warning of fee/charge imposition for calling certain telephone numbers.

"I am pleased that the governor has signed this law to protect unsuspecting victims who think they are calling a free helpline only to find a charge appear later on their telephone bill," Grisanti said. "Innocent citizens seeking helpful information on employment, affordable housing, child care, educational opportunities or other subjects of interest are being scammed into paying for expensive calls. This law eliminates the element of surprise and will allow customers the option to make an informed choice to continue with the paid portion of the call.

The jig is up on scammers who claim to be legitimate local assistance lines. New Yorkers will no longer tolerate deceptive pricing practices."

The New York state general business law will be amended within 30 days to require entities that run these interactive information network services to provide warning, including words to the effect, "In order for you to receive the information you are calling for, there is an applicable fee that will be charged to your telephone bill. If you do not want to pay this amount, please hang up." A 10-second delay before billing starts will then occur with time to disconnect.

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