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AG Warns Of Telemarketers Out To Bypass Do Not Call List

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Attorney General Roy Cooper on Thursday warned consumers who have signed up for the

Do Not Call Registry

to watch out for free product promotions and other schemes that give telemarketers permission to call them.

"Some telemarketers may try to trick you into signing away your Do Not Call rights with offers of free soft drinks or other gimmicks," Cooper said. "Never sign anything without reading the fine print carefully."

Cooper's office issued the warning after receiving reports of advertisement cards arriving in consumers' mailboxes.

The cards reportedly encourage consumers to vote for their favorite cola in order to receive free merchandise. They also include a statement in fine print notifying consumers that filling out the card gives the promoters permission to call them -- regardless of whether or not they have registered their telephone number on the Do Not Call list.

Consumers who may have signed one of these forms can stop the promoters from telemarketing them by telling the company to put them on its own Do Not Call list, either in writing or when they receive a call from the company.

More than one million North Carolina telephone numbers have been placed on the national Do Not Call Registry since consumers started signing up earlier this summer.

North Carolinians who sign up for the national Registry will automatically benefit from new state protections, passed last month by the North Carolina General Assembly at Cooper's urging.

The state Do Not Call law means that North Carolinians who register will be protected even if rulings in court or changes in regulations dismantle the national registry.

Under the measure, Cooper's office has the power to enforce the law against telemarketers through action in state courts.

"The Do Not Call Registry gives people the right to decide who calls them at home," Cooper said.

"You have registered your number but want to receive calls from a particular company, you can give them permission to call you. But watch out for marketing ploys that try to entice you in to giving your permission to be called by telemarketers."

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