‘Do Not Call’ complaints on the rise in NY

State News
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WTEN – If you feel like you have been getting non-stop telemarketer calls, you are not alone. A state audit found that calls are indeed increasing and even less is being done about it.

New York’s Do Not Call Registry has received more than double the number of complaints since 2014. Only two of these complaints were taken to law enforcement in the past two years.

According to the state comptroller’s audit, there have been 450,000 complaints a year to the Do Not Call registry. Mostly because people are still receiving telemarketer calls despite being on the Do Not Call list.

“The number of complaints about do not call violations has escalated quite a bit in the last few years and our auditors felt it was a good program to take a look at. The Department of State is not doing is not doing its job in investigating these complaints,” Mark Johnson, Spokesman for State Comptroller Office, said.

The state created the Do Not Call program in 2001 and has five people on staff, including an investigator. The audit found that despite calls doubling, only one case was reported to the state’s legal team last year. Also, the fines for companies that break the law dropped from close to $2 million in 2014 to only about $44,000 last year.  

“There are only five people dedicated to doing this, and when you’re getting 450,000 complaints obviously there is going to be a backlog and things are not going to be addressed.”

As the comptroller’s office explains, their audit showed that the reason for some of the lack of action is due to staff vacancies within the program and a high turnover rate.

“The basic conclusion is that the staffing levels need to stay where they should be and maybe even increased, as well as use more tools such as the FTC.”

The Department of State says they are working to correct the issues.

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