Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Wednesday, January 9, 2002


Legislation Aims to Reduce Unwanted Calls from Telemarketers

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today joined senior citizens in three cities to inform Texans about the state's new "no call list" for telemarketers. The legislation, which went into effect Jan. 1, gives Texans the opportunity to let companies know they do not want to be bothered with telephone solicitations. Joining the Attorney General in San Antonio, Houston, and Fort Worth were state representatives from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

"The Texas 'no call law' is one more line of defense for the consumer," Attorney General Cornyn said. "And because the law gives my office the authority to prosecute violators, you can be assured that I'll seek the maximum penalties against companies that refuse to comply."

A law breaker could be fined up to $1,000 for each violation, or up to $3,000 per violation if it is committed wilfully or knowingly. That means penalties would be substantial, especially for those who use automated calling systems and make hundreds of thousands of calls a day. The first "no call list" will be published in April, and telemarketers will have 60 days to comply; that means the Attorney General's office will be able to enforce the law beginning in June.

With FBI studies showing that fraudulent telemarketers direct nearly 80 percent of their calls at older consumers, Attorney General Cornyn and AARP are showing Texans how easy it is for anyone to sign up. Texans can call toll-free 1-866-TXNOCALL (896-6225) to register or to have a registration form mailed to them. The form is also available on the Internet at, where on-line registration is also available. The cost is $2.25 for each residential phone number and is good for three years; notices will be sent out as the renewal period approaches.

"It's a cheap price to pay for the opportunity to get a little freedom from unwanted telemarketers," Attorney General Cornyn added. "The law will not completely stop all unwanted telephone calls, but it will certainly help in reducing the number of calls, and it'll give me a strong legal case when I go after those who break the law."

As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 81,000 Texans had already signed up to be on the "no call list."

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