NETTLETON, Miss. (WCBI)- Staffers at the Nettleton office of Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley routinely field phone calls from people who are targets of unscrupulous telemarketers.
Right now, telemarketers can only be fined, but starting in July, they will face tougher penalties for unwanted calls.
A new law says telemarketers can go to jail for stealing from people.
“These people are criminals and this law is going to allow us to hone in on it,” said Presley.
It is just one of the changes to Mississippi’s “No Call Law” that will take effect July 1st.
Businesses can register their phone lines on the do not call list.
Charities using telemarketers for cold calling must register with the Public Service Commission and Caller ID’ Spoofing”, will be against the law and even those who develop apps that help disguise a phone number are not exempt.
“They are aiding and abetting people to steal from Mississippians. They may have a defense, they will get a chance to make it,” said Presley.
Mississippi residents have been able to put their cell phone and landline numbers on the state’s do not call list for three years now, and nearly 200 telemarketing firms have registered with the Public Service Commission.
But Presley says the current law needed more teeth to to go after those companies who don’t play by the rules.
“We’re going to pursue those people to the ends of the earth, because, we had one victim in Prentiss County alone who sent $354,000.”
Presley points out that individuals and businesses must be sure their phone numbers are registered on the no call list before any action can be taken against telemarketers.