Ocean County Legislators Support Bill to Protect Seniors from Phone Scams

Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove are putting their full support behind a legislative initiative to better protect consumers, most especially seniors, from telemarketing harassment.

Senator Connors is second prime and Assemblyman Rumpf and Assemblywoman Gove have requested to be added on as cosponsors to companion legislation, S-2461 and A-4209, that would establish a task force to evaluate and make recommendations relating to the cost and feasibility of implementing appropriate technology and other methods to reduce incidents of telemarketing harassment and intimidation of consumers in New Jersey.

The first-prime sponsors of S-2461 and A-4209 are Senator Jennifer Beck and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, respectively. Connors, Rumpf and Gove issued the following statement explaining their support for this legislative initiative:

“As more seniors are using cell phones they are increasingly becoming targets of telemarketers doing an end run around government-established ‘Do Not Call’ lists.  To counteract the harassment by telemarketers, action needs to be taken at the state and federal level to modernize consumer protections to keep up with this quickly advancing technology.

“Legislation we are supporting would establish a task force with the necessary expertise to develop strategies to combat telemarketing harassment by targeting seniors.  Task force members would include a representative of the State Attorney General’s Office and telecommunications technology experts from Verizon New Jersey.  Additional members would include a representative of both the AARP and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, as well as three senior citizens who have experienced telemarketing harassment and intimidation.

“Drafting laws to effectively counteract telemarketing harassment will not be an easy task especially considering the rate at which telecommunication technology advances.   However, as representatives serving a large senior constituency that is being deliberately targeted, we understand the increasing need for added protections that properly identify telemarketers violating the law so that a complaint can be filed with the FCC or the state.”

Subsequent to being released by the Senate Economic Growth Committee, S-2461 is presently on Second Reading in the Senate while A-4209 is awaiting action by the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee.

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