301.519.9237 exdirector@nesaus.org

12.4.23- Jackson, Miss. (WJTV)

For those looking to stop receiving telemarketer calls about their car’s extended warranty or anything else, Mississippi has a simple solution: The Do Not Call Registry.

The Mississippi Telephone Solicitation Act was amended in 2023 to transfer oversight and execution of the law from the Mississippi Public Service Commission to the Mississippi Attorney General’s office. The Mississippi AG’s Office, in conjunction with the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission, enforces adherence to the National Do Not Call Registry. 

The FTC manages the registry created in 2003. It is essentially a list of phone numbers from consumers who have indicated their preference to limit the telemarketing calls they receive. On the national level, political organizations, charities, telephone surveyors, or companies with which a consumer has an existing business relationship do not have to adhere to the Do Not Call Registry. 

According to the language of the Mississippi Telephone Solicitation Act,

  • All telephone solicitors must register with the attorney general’s office before conducting any telephone solicitations in the State of Mississippi.
  • Any person who has received a telephone solicitation in violation of this article, or any rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this article, may file a complaint with the AG’s office. 
  • Any telephone solicitor found to have violated this article may be subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each violation. 

The following entities are exempt from following the Mississippi Telephone Solicitation Act. 

A person soliciting:

  • Who does not make the major sales presentation during the telephone solicitation,
  • Without the intent to complete or obtain provisional acceptance from the consumer during the telephone call.
  • With the intent to complete the solicitation sales during a later face-to-face meeting between the consumer. 
  • Who is a real estate agent licensed by and living in Mississippi making offers related to their profession 
  • Who is a motor vehicle dealer licensed by and living in Mississippi conducting business related to their profession. 
  • Who is an insurance agent making offers related to their profession.
  • Who is a financial or investment agent registered with the state who performs duties related to their profession. 
  • Who is an unpaid worker calling on behalf of a charitable organization registered in the state for matters relating to the organization.
  • A person calling on behalf of a newspaper asking for a subscription of advertising from a consumer. 
  • A person calling on behalf of any supervised financial institution or parent, subsidiary or affiliate thereof. The institution must have a physical office located in the State of Mississippi and be regulated by Mississippi or the United States.
  • A person calling on behalf of a funeral establishment licensed in Mississippi conducting business related to their profession. 
  • A consumer with whom he has an established business relationship.

The FCC also provides tips for consumers in dealing with calls that slip through the cracks. 

  • Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. If you answer such a call, hang up immediately.
  • You may not be able to tell right away if an incoming call is spoofed. Be aware: Caller ID showing a “local” number does not necessarily mean it is a local caller.
  • If you answer the phone and the caller – or a recording – asks you to hit a button to stop getting the calls, you should just hang up. Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.
  • Do not respond to any questions, especially those that can be answered with “Yes.”
  • Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
  • If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company’s or government agency’s website to verify the authenticity of the request. You will usually get a written statement in the mail before you get a phone call from a legitimate source, particularly if the caller is asking for a payment.
  • Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.
  • If you have a voicemail account with your phone service, be sure to set a password for it. Some voicemail services are preset to allow access if you call in from your phone number. A hacker could spoof your home phone number and gain access to your voicemail if you do not set a password.
  • Talk to your phone company about call-blocking tools they may have and check into apps that you can download to your mobile device to block unwanted calls.
  • If you use robocall-blocking technology already, it often helps to let that company know which numbers are producing unwanted calls so they can help block those calls for you and others.
  • To block telemarketing calls, register your number on the Do Not Call List. Legitimate telemarketers consult the list to avoid calling both landline and wireless phone numbers on the list.

For more information on how to register, visit the Mississippi Attorney General’s No Call Online Portal