A bipartisan group of 38 state attorneys general submitted comments asking the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on scammers who collect money from telemarketing victims by strengthening the federal Telemarketing Sales Rule - the main federal regulation setting rules for telemarketers.

The group states that changes in the marketplace and the prevalence of specific types of fraud and abuse require a tougher federal rule.  

A main focus of the request is to combat common scams, such as the "grandparent scam," that target senior citizens and try to collect money through wire transfers and other types of instant payment methods commonly used in telemarketing fraud.  

Along with asking the FTC to tighten its rules to restrict certain payment methods commonly used by scammers, the attorneys general also address the use of pre-acquired account information, the use of negative option features and requiring telemarketers to create and maintain call records.

"The 'grandparent scam' and many others that target senior citizens and vulnerable Kansans continue to be a top source of consumer complaints filed with our office," said Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. "We continue to vigorously enforce Kansas law, and changes such as these we are recommending would improve our ability to protect Kansas consumers when they are targeted by scammers from out of state or even overseas."

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