Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive
Wednesday, September 5, 2001
ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN CORNYN, PERMIAN BASIN SENIORS DISCUSS CONSUMER SCAM PROTECTION
New State law designed to help protect seniors against telemarketing fraud
MIDLAND - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today met with Permian Basin senior citizens to discuss the ways they can shield themselves from consumer scams.
Attorney General Cornyn told seniors about a new State law that gives Texans additional protections against telemarketing fraud. The Texas Telemarketing Disclosure and Privacy Act (HB 472) takes effect next year.
"Senior citizens in Texas are the most popular targets of consumer fraud, including telemarketing fraud," Attorney General Cornyn said. "I want to ensure that all seniors and service providers are aware of the laws that target those who want to cheat or deceive the elderly."
Attorney General Cornyn offered seniors several tips on how to recognize potential telemarketing scams, including:
State lawmakers passed HB 472 during the recent 77th Texas Legislative Session. The bill contains several provisions to protect consumers from unwanted solicitations. Telemarketers who break the new law could face penalties of up to $3,000 per violation.
Highlights of the new law, to be effective next year, include:
"The state and federal government are working to help stop telemarketing fraud. However, the best defense against deceptive telephone solicitation practices is an aware consumer," Attorney General Cornyn said. "Remember, they called you. When in doubt, say no and hang up the phone."
Seniors, or any Texans who believe they may have been the victim of any type of consumer fraud, can file a complaint with Attorney General Cornyn's Consumer Protection Division (CPD). In West Texas, consumers can call the Lubbock Regional CPD at 806-747-5238, or the El Paso Regional CPD at 915-834-5800. Consumer complaints may also be filed with the local district attorney's office or the Better Business Bureau.
When HB 472 takes effect in January, seniors and other consumers in Texas will be able to choose from a number of agencies with which to file complaints, depending on the nature of the telemarketer's business.
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