Consumer Alert: The Division of Consumer Protection Advises Businesses and Consumers About Unsolicited Telemarketing Calls During State of Emergency
Unsolicited Telemarketing Calls are Prohibited During Declared State of Emergency
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection is alerting businesses and consumers about State law related to telemarketing activity during a declared state of emergency. On December 18, 2019, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law a bill that prohibits unsolicited telemarketing sales calls to anyone in an area subject to a declared state of emergency.
The law, which went into effect immediately, makes it unlawful for any telemarketer doing business in New York to make an unsolicited telemarketing sales call to any person in a county, city, town or village under a declared state of emergency or disaster emergency. On March 7, 2020, Governor Cuomo declared a state of emergency relating to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
“During our current state of emergency related to the novel coronavirus, New Yorkers do not need to be burdened with intrusive telemarketing calls,” said Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. “Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s leadership with the passage of this law, New Yorkers will have more open lines of communication on their phones, which are critical during this time of social distancing.”
An “unsolicited telemarketing sales call” means “any telemarketing sales call other than a call made:
Businesses engaged in telemarketing activity in New York State should consult with their attorneys prior to engaging in unsolicited telemarketing sales calls in this state while the state of emergency remains in effect. Violating the new law can result in the imposition of thousands of dollars in civil penalties.
Any consumer who has received an unsolicited telemarketing sales call during this declared state of emergency, is encouraged to report it at www.donotcall.gov or by calling 888-382-1222. When reporting, be prepared to provide details about the call.
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection serves to educate, assist and empower the State’s consumers. For more consumer protection information, call the Consumer Helpline at 800-697-1220, Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm or visit the DCP website at www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection. The Division can also be reached via Twitter at @NYSConsumer or Facebook at www.facebook.com/nysconsumer