Attorney General Jay Nixon has obtained a temporary restraining order against an on-line dating service that he accuses of calling Missourians on the state No Call list. Nixon says more than 140 Missourians on the No Call list reported receiving telemarketing calls from Luvoo.com, based in Tujunga, California. Nixon has sued the company; its owner, Lourdes Van Hoek; and a third company, Telephone Management Corporation, contending they violated Missouri law in soliciting memberships to the dating service. He has asked the court to block them from calling Missourians on the No Call list. He also asks the courts fine the company up to $5,000 per violation.
A House committee has voted 20-0 to send a bill to add cell phones to Missouri’s No Call list to the full House. The Committee on Communications, Energy and Technology is calling for the full House to follow the lead of the Senate, which approved the measure in a 31-0 unanimous vote last month. Almost 1.6-Million residential telephone numbers are on the No Call list, which came into being in 2001.
Anyone attending the State Fair in Sedalia will undoubtedly have the opportunity to enter a contest or two by filling out forms requiring all kinds of information including name, address, and telephone number. Scott Holste with the State Attorney General’s Office warns that while there’s nothing illegal about that, people who enter could be leaving themselves open to unwanted telemarketing calls in the future. Holste reminds Missourians that by taking part in one of these contests, a participant enters into a business relationship with the company involved, and – under the No Call law – that allows telemarketing phone calls to be made.
The State Attorney General’s Office is touting the successes of Missouri’s No Call telephone solicitation law. Telemarketing fraud complaints are down by two-thirds since the start of the program. Scott Holste with the Attorney General’s Office says there is a link between the law and the decline in the number of complaints. In the year prior to the No Call law taking effect, 468 telemarketing fraud complaints were filed. That number was down to 161 for the one-year period ending on June 30th of this year.
The Missouri House is dealing with an effort to strengthen the state’s no-call telephone solicitation law by eliminating some of the loopholes. State Representative Rick Johnson of High Ridge sponsors the bill. He says it is too easy for many telemarketers to get around the law. Those who benefit from these loopholes, according to Johnson, include phone companies, insurance companies, credit card companies, and financial institutions.
The success of the state’s No Call telephone solicitation list has apparently been seen as an opportunity for some people to try to scam unsuspecting Missourians. The Attorney General’s Office has received word of people calling those on the No Call list to offer them the chance to sign up for a national No Call list for a $500 fee. The Office’s Mary Still says there is no such national list. She adds the scammers appear to be operating from outside the state, perhaps California. The Attorney General’s Office warns Missourians to be on the alert for these calls and to never give out bank account or credit card information to strangers who are telephone solicitors.
$50,000 in fines have been given to four moretelemarketers who have called Missourians on the state No-Call list. Fines have been doubled on two of the four because they didn’t learn the first time. Colorado Prime Corporation, which actually is in New York, gets the biggest fine – 30,000. The company ws fined $15,000 last year for trying to sell beef products to people on Missouri’s list. Spinaker Development Corporation of Orlando, Florida, got a $10,000 fine for trying, again, to peddle resort and travel package to No-Call Missourians.
Missouri’s No-Call telephone solicitation list has expanded, with tens of thousands of new numbers off limits to telemarketers. The list is maintained by the State Attorney General’s Office. Spokesman Scott Holste says telemarketers appear to be getting the word that people on the list don’t want to be bothered by dinner-hour phone calls. Missouri is one of more than a dozen states with No-Call telephone laws.
Today is the deadline for Missourians to sign up for the state’s “No Call” list, designed to keep telemarketers from calling those who don’t want to be bothered. This edition of the list will go into effect July 1st. Four lists will be made up each year. Attorney General Jay Nixon says there are some loopholes he wants to close. As for getting on the list, it’s free, and any company offering to put you on a list for a fee is ripping you off.
The American Association of Retired Persons – AARP – is calling on the State Legislature to move forward on a bill aimed at toughening Missouri’s “no call” telemarketing law, which takes effect July 1st. A bill introduced by State Representative Rick Johnson of High Ridge would close many of the loopholes in the current legislation. AARP held a rally at the State Capitol to try to pressure House Speaker Jim Kreider to find a spot fot the bill on the legislative calendar for the current session.