Rather than using it as a reference for phone numbers not to be called, some telemarketers are apparently using the new Canadian do-not-call list as a source for leads.

The Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) sells copies of the list to telemarketers at a nominal cost. Making the list available to the marketers is essential to ensuring they will comply with the law and not call those numbers in the do-not-call registry.

Industry Minister Tony Clement last week confirmed that it’s not only unethical but illegal for marketers to call numbers on the do-not-call list.

“An abuse of the do-not-call list is unconscionable, not to mention illegal, and I sympathize with those Canadians who are being harassed by unscrupulous telemarketers,” Clement said in a statement.

Clement added that the CRTC will “aggressively pursue” offenders. Fines of up to (C)$15,000 can be levied against marketers who abuse the do-not-call list.

CRTC spokesman Denis Carmel added that, if foreign-based telemarketers abuse the do-not-call list to sell a product in Canada, the Canadian distributor of that product will be held accountable.

The nationwide Canadian do-not-call list was instituted last September. As of early this month, more than six million Canadians had reportedly registered their phone numbers on the list. For further information on the list, visit the do-not-call registry information page.

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