Governor George E. Pataki recently signed into law a new consumer protection that gives New Yorkers an important new way to avoid unwanted telemarketing calls.

The new law will prohibit telemarketers from blocking identification of their names and telephone numbers on consumers home caller identification-devices which will help to alert them that they may be receiving a telemarketing phone call.

Governor Pataki also advised consumers who wish to be left undisturbed by telemarketing that they may exercise several other options designed to eliminate unwanted telemarketing calls. These include:

Federal law allows a consumer to place his or her telephone number on the telemarketers “do not call” list;
Contacting the Federal Trade Commission. Telemarketers not adhering to those consumer requests may be fined by the Federal Trade Commission;

Consumers who do not wish to be disturbed by calls from any entity that does not reveal its own telephone number can purchase a “block services” do not connect calls for which callers block transmission of identifying information; and,

Consumers may use answering machines to screen their calls.

For more information, consumers can call Governor Pataki’s consumer hotline at the State Consumer Protection Board toll-free at 1-800-697-1220.