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H.R. 868 (103rd): Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

7/25/1994--House agreed to Senate amendment with amendment. Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act - Directs the Federal Trade Commission to prescribe rules prohibiting deceptive telemarketing acts or practices and other abusive telemarketing acts or practices. Requires such rules to include: (1) a requirement that telemarketers not make unsolicited calls in a pattern which a reasonable customer would consider coercive or abusive of the customer's right to privacy; (2) restrictions on the times of day and night when unsolicited calls can be made to consumers; and (3) a requirement that any telephone solicitor shall promptly and clearly disclose the purpose of the call. Directs the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to promulgate similar rules regarding telemarketing by brokers and dealers, unless Federal laws or rules adopted by such Commissions provide protection or such rules are not necessary or appropriate in the public interest. Requires such Commissions to publish reasons for allowing any exception. (Sec. 4) Permits the attorney general of any State, whenever there is reason to believe that the interests of a State's residents are adversely affected because of a telemarketing practice which violates rules promulgated pursuant to this Act, to bring a civil action to enjoin such telemarketing and to obtain damages and other appropriate relief. (Sec. 5) Permits similar actions by any person adversely affected by violations of the rules promulgated pursuant to this Act, if the amount in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $50,000 in actual damages for each person adversely affected. (Sec. 8) Amends the Federal Trade Commission Act to make it unlawful to disseminate by U.S. mails or by any means false advertisements concerning services. (Sec. 9) Permits the Federal Trade Commission, until two years following the promulgation of rules under this Act, to bring a criminal contempt action for violations of orders of the Commission obtained in false advertising cases. (Sec. 10) Provides for the review of the implementation of this Act, five years following the promulgation of rules, and for a report to the Congress.