Politicians exempt from ‘Do Not Call’ law | NevadaAppeal.com

Politicians exempt from ‘Do Not Call’ law

Politicians are exempt from so-called 'Do Not Call' laws.

Now that we're past the primary, politicians for every open office are in full attack mode.

And that means your phone just won't stop ringing.

A number of people have asked whether Nevada's Do Not Call law can stop at least some of those calls.

According to Laura Tucker, a senior deputy attorney general with the Consumer Protection Bureau, the answer is it can't. She said that law only applies to sales calls, telemarketers.

"It will not block political calls," she said.

Simply put, they're exempt.

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In the age of smart phones, that means they can also send you text messages, an issue raised by one of the Appeal's editors who was surprised to get a candidate text.

Also exempt are political survey organizations.

Tucker said there are limits under state statute. The caller can't be harassing or threatening, can't use obscene language, be repetitive or even annoying.

And, importantly, they aren't allowed to call between 8 p.m. and 9 a.m.

For political calls, she said you can simply ask them not to call you again and they're supposed to take your number off the list that they typically get from voter registrars in each county.

She said that means you pretty much have to handle the political calls yourself. On smart phones, you can block numbers so they can't call anymore. She said there are a number of applications for smart phones that can block callers or at least let you see who's calling before you answer.

She recommended looking on line to see which apps are highly recommended since her office can't recommend any commercial product.

Monica Moazez, public information officer for the Attorney General's Office, said anyone who feels they're getting harassing or threatening calls from any source should file a complaint with Consumer Protection and the Federal Trade Commission. She said whether they can contact the offender or not, "it's good to hear from the public and try to track trends a little better."

"It never hurts to file a complaint," she said adding people can do so on the website at http://www.donotcall.gov.

For both political calls and texts from candidates and political parties, Tucker said federal law says there has to be a real person on the other end so you can ask to please take you off their call list. It can't be a robo or text.

"There has to be an actual person who can respond and say, yes, we will remove you."

Tucker said to cut off telemarketers and other sales calls, people should go to the state's http://www.donotcall.gov website — the same site where they can file a complaint — and register their phone numbers. They can register both landlines and cell phone numbers.

She said one thing people need to know is it isn't effective immediately. Registration takes effect after 31 days — one full month.

She made it clear the law won't stop all of those telemarketers or many robo-calls.

"The problem with robo-calls or impersonation scams is these people are not following the law anyway so they're definitely not going to follow the Do Not Call law," she said.

She said an accountant in the AG's office got one of those scam calls from someone saying she owed money to IRS and would have to pay or be arrested. She said the woman told the caller to come on down, that her office was on the Attorney General's office on Carson Street. The scammer, understandably, hung up immediately.

To register your telephone numbers in Nevada’s Do Not Call registry, go to http://www.donotcall.gov

You can also file a complaint about a caller at the same website.