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Mississippi Telemarketing Fraud Laws

Telemarketing fraud is a type of scam where the offender contacts potential victims by placing unsolicited phone calls. Once the victim is on the line, the offender intentionally makes false statements in order to defraud the victim. Common examples of telemarketing scams include sweepstakes or prize calls, get rich quick schemes, and vacation investment rip-offs.

There are both federal and state laws in place that criminalize telemarketing fraud. The following federal laws govern telemarketing across the United States:

The chart below outlines Mississippi's state law governing telemarketing fraud.

Code Section

Mississippi Code section 77-3-15: The Mississippi Telephone Solicitation Act

Rules for Authorized Calls

All telephone solicitations made to consumers in Mississippi must abide by all of the following rules:
  • The solicitor must clearly announce at the beginning of each call his or her name, the company that they represent, and the purpose of the call
  • Calls can only be made between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. (Central Standard Time)
  • Calls can't be made on a Sunday
  • Calls can't be made to a consumer on the most current "no-calls" database, and
  • The solicitor must be authorized (see section 77-3-15-709) or exempt from this article (see section 77-3-15-711)

What's Prohibited?

Solicitors may not:
  • Knowingly block or otherwise circumnavigate a consumer's caller identification service
  • Use an automated dialing system, or
  • Use a recorded voice message to communicate with a consumer before a business relationship has been established

Penalties

Punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 for each violation.

Defenses

It is a defense that the defendant established and implement, with due care, reasonable practices and procedures in order to effectively prevent telephone solicitations that violate this article.

"Do Not Call" List

The Mississippi Public Service Commission maintains a No Call List. Telemarketers may not call the phone numbers on this list with unsolicited business. Subscribing to the No Call List can be helpful to protect yourself from telemarketing fraud. Consumers can register by subscribing online or by calling toll free 1-866-622-5567.

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information about Mississippi's telemarketing fraud laws contact a local consumer protection attorney or criminal defense lawyer.

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