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Grisanti sponsors bill to stop telephone scammers

by jmaloni
Fri, Jun 22nd 2012 09:40 pm

Targets those that charge unsuspecting callers who think call is local

Press release

State Sen. Mark Grisanti announced this week that the Senate has passed his bill, S7652, which amends the general business law to require 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 this bill is to prevent unsuspecting victims from dialing information and resources telephone numbers that turn out to be telephone scams that cost money.

Scammers often use an ad with a local number that is transferred to a pay-per-call line, which results in a fee to the caller. This legislation will require a notice of warning of fee/charge imposition for calling certain telephone numbers.

"Innocent citizen who are seeking helpful information on employment, affordable housing, child care, educational opportunities or other subjects of interest are being scammed into paying for expensive calls," Grisanti said. "This legislation will help stop these types of scams by ensuring that consumers are informed of what they are being charged with enough time to choose to hang up. I am pleased the Senate has passed this important bill and hope soon it will be law in NY.

"People seeking to improve their living conditions should not be subjected to unsuspecting high fees for often worthless information."

The New York state general business law will be amended to include words to the effect, "the call you are placing will cost this rate. In order for you to receive the information you are calling for, that fee will be charged to your telephone bill. If you do not want to pay this amount, please hang up."

Customers will be given the facts of the amount they will be charged in the language they selected, but also will be afforded 10 seconds to decide to stay on the line or leave the call. Once passed by both houses, the law will take affect the 30th day after it becomes law.

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