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Telemarketers beware: Bill would create unit to investigate fraudulent calls

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Telemarketers beware: Bill would create unit to investigate fraudulent calls 

TRENTON — New Jersey would have a group of investigators tasked with looking into telemarketing fraud under a bill making its way through the Legislature.

The state Senate’s Community and Urban Affairs Committee today approved a bill (S247) to establish a “telemarketing fraud investigation unit” run by the state Division of Consumer Affairs.

The unit would investigate consumer complaints about calls from callers who ignore the do-not-call list, block their information from caller ID, call after permitted hours and “other such consumer complaints related to telemarketing practices as determined by the director.”

“The technology is more sophisticated, and the number of telemarketers who have been breaking the law has been growing,” said state Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May), a sponsor. “There are two levels of fraud. One is they’re breaking the law by calling when they shouldn’t be… And then secondly, what they are doing at times is fraudulent. It’s a fraudulent product or fraudulent practice.”

Rob Nixon, a lobbyist who is director of government affairs for the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association, said the organization does not make telemarketing calls, but is often blamed for “fraudulent” groups that do make calls and purport to support New Jersey police officers. (Friedman/Star-Ledger)