JACKSON, Miss. (WTOK) - The Mississippi Public Service Commission and Secretary of State’s Office announced changes Monday to the Telephone Solicitation Act, affecting registration requirements of charities.
Charitable organizations operating in Mississippi are currently required to register with the Secretary of State’s Office, but many are exempt from solicitation requirements under state law and may solicit via phone call or text message.
A recent change in the law, which takes effect July 1, means these calls and messages may be covered under the provisions of the Telephone Solicitation Act.
Organizations using volunteers to raise money are currently exempt from the law. Beginning July 1, organizations paying telephone solicitors will be covered by the Telephone Solicitation Act and be subject to penalties if they fail to comply. Failure to register and/or calling consumers on the No Call List could result in the Public Service Commission issuing fines of up to $10,000 per violation.
The amendment is aimed at protecting consumers from scam callers soliciting Mississippians, through robo-calling or other means, and claiming they represent a legitimate organization.
The PSC and Secretary of State’s Office have notified charitable organizations across the state of the change.
The PSC and Secretary of State’s Office encourage anyone wanting to donate to a charitable organization to research the organization before giving to ensure that they are legitimate and avoid ever giving out private information, particularly a credit card number over the phone.