August 25, 2003
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
ALERT: CONTEST ENTRY FORMS AT FAIRS AND FESTIVALS MAY LEAD TO MORE
THAN A FREE VACATION
the first full week of the Maryland State Fair gets underway, Attorney
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. took the occasion to announce that
consumers should be wary of filling out entry forms for contests
at fairs and festivalsespecially if they don't like receiving
telemarketing calls at home.
purpose of contests and drawings is to generate a list of names
and numbers for salespeople to call, " Curran said. "If
you don't want to receive telemarketing calls, it's best not to
said that consumers who have listed their phone numbers with the
National Do Not Call Registry may think they no longer have to worry
about receiving any telemarketing calls. However, the Registry rules
allow a company to call a consumer who has made an inquiry or filled
out an application, and some businesses may argue that submitting
a contest entry form counts as an inquiry.
also said that contest entry forms pose another risk: "We've
seen forms that authorized switching the consumer's long-distance
phone service, or signed the consumer up for a subscription or membership.
Consumers should read the fine print on both sides of any entry
form to be sure they are not authorizing something they don't want,"
of the Attorney General's Office will be at a booth at the Maryland
State Fair at the Timonium Fairgrounds, Aug. 22 - Sept. 1, to hand
out consumer brochures, answer questions and offer information about
the Office's consumer mediation service.