Mississippians can sign up for the state's new do-not-call list to block telemarketing calls and text messages on their cell phones.
Nearly half of U.S. adults live in wireless telephone-only households. That's according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control. With more Americans using their cell phone as their primary source of communications, telemarketers have followed suit.
But Mississippians can now take action against those annoying calls by registering their cell phones on the state's "Do Not Call" list.
"It makes perfect sense that the legislature, this year, would change the law to allow us to put cell phones on the "Do Not Call" list," says Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley. "To not only protect Mississippians from the annoyance of the calls but also the invasion of their privacy, and that's really what this comes down to."
However, the do not call list does not protect Mississippians against scams.
"You'll get a call sometimes from somebody who represents they're with the Internal Revenue Service or the state tax commission; if you don't send them a money order today they're going to come after you and put you in jail," says Central District Public Service Commissioner Cecil Brown. "That is a scam. That is illegal. That is a crime. We will not be able to block those kinds of calls, but if you get that, that call, write down the number and just hang up on them."
Once a phone has been placed on the list, it will take 60 days for the number to be registered. If a telemarketer contacts an individual on the list after the 60 day period they may be subject to fines.