Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Hebe R. Smythe


Interstate telemarketing fraud has become an increasing problem in recent years. Unscrupulous telephone sellers victimize all segments of society, costing consumers tens of billions of dollars each year. Moreover, the costs of this type of fraud extend beyond consumers to credit card companies, banks, and legitimate telemarketers. Most of these con artists are never caught, however, because gaps in enforcement permit them to operate undetected and unprosecuted, and because sanctions against them are often impossible to enforce. This Note discusses the scope of the telemarketing fraud problem, analyzes the limitations of current detection, prosecution, and enforcement mechanisms, and proposes national legislation as a possible solution.