State Sen. Paul Cicarella (R-North Haven), ranking member of the legislature’s General Law Committee, today spoke on behalf of Connecticut consumers in support of bipartisan legislative provisions to curb intrusive and predatory robocalls and telemarketing. The provisions are part of S.B. 1058, an omnibus package of unrelated consumer measures introduced by the General Law Committee.
Sen. Cicarella joined Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, fellow lawmakers of the General Law Committee, and the Connecticut AARP to highlight the increasing need to provide this consumer safeguard.
“These robocalls and aggressive telemarketing practices are more than a nuisance. In my private business, I hear more and more that crimes are happening from a distance. In this case, it’s happening on the other end of a keyboard, not even in the state or country. As legislators, we are here to help our constituents. This provision will help prevent our constituents, especially those in vulnerable populations, from becoming victims of these elaborate scams. I look forward to discussing this provision and the larger bill in the coming weeks,” Senator Cicarella said.
According to the Office of the Attorney General, it receives many consumer complaints about these calls, and in response, proposed the language in the bill to update Connecticut’s statute regarding the regulation of robocalls and telemarketing to account for current technology and tactics used by fraudsters, who are commonly based out of state or overseas.
Among others, the provisions expand regulations to cover text and media messages; update terms like “automatic dialing” and “announcing device” consistent with current technology; ban VOIP providers from facilitating scammers’ access to the U.S. telecommunications network; allow the Office of the Attorney General to take enforcement action against calls received by Connecticut area codes, regardless of where the calls originate; bar telemarketers from contacting Connecticut residents before 9 a.m. and after 8 p.m.; strengthen the disclosures that telemarketers must make; and clarify the protections provided by the Do Not Call List.
The bill does not curtail calls made for noncommercial purposes, including calls, texts or other messages related to religious, charitable, or political speech or solicitations or where the caller has a preexisting relationship with the consumer, or the consumer has given explicit permission to be contacted.