[§708-835.6]  Telemarketing fraud.  (1)  A person commits the offense of telemarketing fraud if, with intent to defraud or misrepresent, that person obtains or attempts to obtain the transfer of possession, control, or ownership of the property of another through communications conducted at least in part by telephone and involving direct or implied claims that the person contacted:

     (a)  Will or is about to receive anything of value; or

     (b)  May be able to recover any losses suffered by the person contacted in connection with a prize promotion.

     (2)  Telemarketing fraud is a class B felony.  In addition, any property used or intended for use in the commission of, attempt to commit, or conspiracy to commit telemarketing fraud, or that facilitated or assisted this activity, shall be forfeited subject to chapter 712A.

     (3)  For purposes of this section, "telemarketing" means a plan, program, or campaign, including a prize promotion or investment opportunity, that:

     (a)  Is conducted to include the purchase of goods or services or to solicit funds or contributions by use of one or more telephones; and

     (b)  Involves more than one telephone call. [L 2001, c 277, §1]


COMMENTARY ON §708-835.6


  Act 277, Session Laws 2001, added this section to create a criminal offense of telemarketing fraud, involving use at least in part of a telephone and direct or implied claims of receiving anything of value or of recovering losses from a prize promotion.  Act 277 also provides for forfeiture of property used in the commission of the crime.

  The legislature found telemarketing fraud to be one of the fastest growing forms of fraud in the United States.  Telemarketers often target older citizens, knowing many of them have significant assets from a lifetime of saving.  Act 277 is part of a larger effort to combat this serious crime and to protect consumers from unscrupulous practices.  Act 277 allows Hawaii to increase its efforts and provide greater protection to its citizens from unscrupulous telemarketing practices.  Senate Standing Committee Report No. 809, House Standing Committee Report No. 1128.