New data from the federal government shows that New Jersey is the worst when it comes to people getting unwanted calls from telemarketers.

The Garden State racked up 321,393 Do Not Call Registry complaints in the most recent fiscal year ending in September. That's almost 3,600 calls for every 100,000 residents, the highest in the nation, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

The telemarketing and robocall problem is only getting worse despite the federal Do Not Call list. The FTC said unwanted calls rose from 5.34 million in 2016 to more than 7.15 million this year. Robocall complaints nationally rose from 3.4 million last year to 4.5 million this year.

Top 20 worst states for telemarketing

(FTC)

Almost 64 percent of the complaints in New Jersey involved robocalls.

Most of the complaints in New Jersey involved calls about reducing debt, followed by energy or solar pitches.

(FTC)

Last month, the Do Not Call list coordinator told New Jersey 101.5 that companies should not be contacting people who have registered their number unless the people have granted a company permission to call them or they have purchased something from the company in the past 18 months.

The state's Do Not Call law requires telemarketers to registered with the state Division of Consumer Affairs and prohibits telemarketing calls from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m.

The law imposes fines of up to $10,000 for a first violation.

State Sen. Richard Codey, D-Essex, meanwhile, has an online petition calling on the Federal Communications Commission to require phone companies to provide free robocall-blocking technology as a service. The petition had almost 16,500 signatures on Tuesday.

To register your number with the Do Not Call list or file a complaint, visit donotcall.gov.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email sergio.bichao@townsquaremedia.com.

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