Good Question: Can we stop telemarketing calls?


Most people agree that the telemarketing calls you receive on your cell phone are both frustrating and annoying.

We caught up with Sandy Cope in Paducah on a sunny September day during her lunch break. It’s a time she uses to relax and recharge, but sometimes the time is interrupted by telemarketing calls on her cell phone.

“I call them very annoying calls.  I usually say ‘I’m not interested in what you’re selling or giving away. Please take me off your list,'” Cope said.

That doesn’t work because that company then sells your number to another business. What’s worse is when Cope and others think the number is local when it’s really not. For example, the prefix reads a familiar 270 or 618, so you pick it up.  Unfortunately, there’s a scammer on the other end merely using the number to trick you into answering.

The calls promise great cruise deals, cheap car warranties or lottery winnings.

Kentucky House Rep. Gerald Watkins, who represents District 3, hopes to change that with a mobile phone bill he plans to introduce.  It would pressure companies to stop calling by making them pay a price.

“That would make it an offense with a fine up to $10,000 per phone number of our mobile numbers that are sold, shared or marketed without the written permission of the owner of the mobile cell number,” Watkins said.

“All these phone calls we get from telemarketers or worse annoy most of us and prey on the elderly,” Watkins said.

Cope said she hopes lawmakers recognize the legislation is needed and pass it soon. “That would be great if they had to pay a fine,” she said.

Watkins said the measure passed the house in 2016, but not the senate.  He couldn’t get support for it in 2017, but he plans to introduce it again in 2018.

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