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FTC sues telemarketers over Do Not Call violations

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If you’re on the Do Not Call Registry, companies shouldn’t call you out of the blue to try and sell you something. In fact, it’s usually illegal.

The FTC continues to take action against companies and telemarketers that ignore the Registry. The latest example: today the FTC announced a complaint against Alliance Security, a home security system installation company, Alliance’s owner, Jasjit Gotra, and two of Alliance’s telemarketing firms, along with their owners. These two telemarketing firms — Defend America and Power Marketing Promotions — and their owners have agreed to settle the FTC’s charges.

Like with many illegal telemarketing operations, each call typically started with a prerecorded message asking people to press 1 or follow prompts. Anyone who did was then connected to a live telemarketer.

Even after receiving many complaints, the FTC says, the companies continued to call people whose numbers were on the Do Not Call Registry. Some people went as far as scheduling installation appointments just to tell Alliance in person to stop calling, the FTC alleges. Alliance Security and Gotra previously settled charges with the FTC in 2014 while doing business as Versatile Marketing Solutions.

You can learn more about the Do Not Call Registry in our FAQs. If a company doesn’t respect the Registry, report it. To add your number to the Do Not Call Registry, go to donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone you want to register.

What if you’re on the Registry and still getting bombarded by unwanted calls? Odds are, many of them are from scammers — and they don’t care about the Registry. Find out more about your options when it comes to blocking unwanted calls— and report the ones you get at ftc.gov/complaint. We take the phone numbers you report and release them each business day to help telecommunications carriers and other industry partners that are working on call blocking solutions. Your complaints also help law enforcement identify the people behind illegal calls. For tips on blocking unwanted calls, go to ftc.gov/calls, where you'll find graphics you can share with your friends and followers.

How to stop unwanted calls on your  mobile phone.

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Comments

Why aren't they going after The company s trying to lower my interest rates on my credit cards and the ones trying to help me with my student loans( that i don't have) and the places I stayed when I was on vacation ( which i have not) They call me 3 or 4 times a day and I am on do not call list.

I get multiple robocalls from cardholder services multiple times each day and have received these since the day I signed up for the do-not-call list. Side note I have not had a credit card for more than 10 years. It is my belief that either the FTC is behind these robocalls or that they sold my number the moment that I signed up. I would like to know if the FTC is actually ever find a single person or company... They talk about record fines and such but have they actually ever had any action against companies making billions and billions of robocalls. I doubt it!

I have to agree with you. I got maybe 1 call every so often.. the I registered with the Do Not Call list and now I get them all the time. And today for some reason I have gotten 48 calls a 5 texts all about health insurance since 8:28 this morning and its 2:29 now. What the heck!

very same calls to my phone and its still going on more than two weeks. Only, they say they got a notice I wanted their US health insurance and they were returning my inquiry.

My neighbor got a 42 dollar check as part of a class action suit against marketers violating the do not call list.

I did too. That class action suit was filed years ago.

I finally got the telemarketers to stop calling me by making a new greeting on my answering machine that has a long pause after I say "Hello".

What you have to do is say, “Hello” and then wait 2 seconds.

Then I say “I am sorry but we are unable to come to the phone right now, so after the tone would you please leave a message ".

The "Hello" with the long pause will cause their computers to think there is a live person on the phone and then it connects you to a real person - A phone solicitor.

Then after they hang up on you by pressing "Release" on their phones 2 or 3 times, their computer system will automatically take your number off of their auto dial list.

" Hello " ------ I am sorry but we are unable to come to the phone right now , so after the tone would you please leave a message ".

Those lower your interest rates calls are more than likely from a call center out to the country. Our government can not reach that far, but I have read articles where with the help of the government when they are operating they have shut down several large call centers. I know its hard and a time consuming but every time you turn on in for calling it will add up and eventually they will be able to locate the location and work with that government

Amen! These are the top 2 I get!! They call daily. I block the number & they call from another one. They Seriously call Everyday & YES I’m on the Do Not Call List.

This is great that they are getting caught. I'm so tired of getting these robo calls. It is a constant every day about 3 or 4 of them; but, I'm very well onto those scammers. I do not give out info and don't say YES to anything. I always ask questions, then I tell them "this is a SCAM" & I hang up.

I've been called many times from people for car warranted,life insurance,education grants,home improvements, and government grants. Plus many others. Such as computer repairs.

I've been getting calls from a car warranty company as well, they call from different numbers all the time. I've told them I no longer own the car and to stop calling, but they just continue

For my part/situation, "Do Not Call" is a totally worthless program, requiring participation with negative benefits. I'm receiving multiple calls from the same number on a daily basis, even after notifying the caller to withdraw my number using that caller's instructions on how to delete. Callers are using loopholes in the language to proceed as ever,- regardless of any attempted regulation. My recommendations are: a) cease to worry about arousing assorted corporate ire over your regulations; b) decide what specifically you intend to regulate/control; and c)create TIGHT legal language that accomplishes these intentions. Currently you could drive a fleet of semis thru your regulatory language,- but that usually results from imprecise concepts of intent!!

Respectfully, sammi, on what do you base your assumption that the DNC List isn't working? The only way to reliably ascertain its effectiveness would be to repeal the regulation, at which time, I predict your phone would ring non-stop as you would begin getting calls from not only all the scammers and cheaters who are calling now, but also from all the legitimate businesses that are currently following the rules and leaving you alone.

I get calls all the time. Sometimes it's a recording, and other times no one speaks.

I must get about 10 of these stupid calls a day what I do not get is why something is not done to stop this crap it take a lot of my day to try and explain to someone I do not want there products been no call list since 2008 that's a joke they do nothing to stop these calls

DNC only works when people report the calls. Enough reports against a company/number warrants an investigation. Unfortunately, they can't investigate every report, and for that reason, they will only look into those with numerous reports. Even more unfortunate is how time-consuming the reporting process is. I might start developing an app that streamlines the process.

I now have 47 numbers blocked on my phone...from the same company. They just call from a different number.

I got calls 3-4 times a day from 423-397-4542 I pick up and a female says "Hi this is Lisa can you hear me" I don't answer so they call back from 423-397-4434 and then after hanging up on that number I get a call from 423-397-4311. Several call on my cell and home number with area code 423 and numbers starting with 397 with different ending numbers. I have asked them to stop calling me. One male told me he would all day everyday if he wanted to. After a war of words with him and I said I would a police officer call him he hung up. I want these calls to stop. I am tired of these calls all day every day. Someone please help me.

I got calls 3-4 times a day from 423-397-4542 I pick up and a female says "Hi this is Lisa can you hear me" I don't answer so they call back from 423-397-4434 and then after hanging up on that number I get a call from 423-397-4311. Several call on my cell and home number with area code 423 and numbers starting with 397 with different ending numbers. I have asked them to stop calling me. One male told me he would all day everyday if he wanted to. After a war of words with him and I said I would a police officer call him he hung up. I want these calls to stop. I am tired of these calls all day every day. Someone please help me.

I got the same calls. I was pretty annoyed after answering the calls 3 time and never getting to a human that I decided to get revenge. I called the number followed the prompt and hung up over and over all while watching the news. After about 45 mins I got a call back from them. The caller asked me to stop calling them because I was tying up their lines. I asked them (for the 100th time) to take me off their calling list. This time they did. :)

If you get a lot of calls now you are going to be even madder when you have someone turning 65 in a year. They are relentless. We have always been on the do not call list and get all of the other calls but the Medicare supplement people are the worse. I keep reporting the numbers but of course they keep calling. We no longer answer our phones unless it's a known number. They won't leave word but they will try back with spoofed local numbers hoping we will answer. Once we even had them call us showing they were calling from our number they were calling.

This same thing happened to me several times, i.e. my own telephone number showed on the caller ID, as though I was calling myself. Frighten me badly the first time. I called the phone company immediately, and the agent explained that it is called Phishing.

I get the same thing now that going to be eligible for Medicare in a few months. Why can't they do something about this. Today April 2, 2018 before 10:00 AM had 6. The FTC needs to do something about this. If you block, they change the number. If you call back is disconnected. I'm on do not call list but doesn't help. I like you just don't answer but hearing the phone ring is giving me a headache and waking me up. I block constantly but have to delete then add more. This is insanity.

This is definitely happening to me. I am so sick of it. Today April 2nd 6 before 10 AM. FTC obviously doesn't care. I don't answer, but they are relentless. I block, but then have to erase and block some more on a weekly basis. I'm on do not call but it doesn't matter. I have had my own number show, numbers that are not legitimate, and therefore can't block, and a couple got an earful from me. If they change numbers immediately how can FTC do anything? These tactics should be against the law, it is an invasion of privacy.

Let me give y'all a big THANK YOU! We now have reason to actually answer these calls and take names.

The telecommunications companies can be thanked for the term number spoofing. They have the technology to prevent number spoofing and refuse to use the software. The United States government has full power and authority to require the telecommunications companies to put in place measures that stop number spoofing and yet the government has not nor will they require it. The Do Not Call Registry is a complete joke. So is the FTC for that matter but when your teeth get pulled its hard to bite.

I agree with some of what you state but I do not believe the government has the power to tell the carriers to do anything, AND the carriers do not want to do it. After all, the carriers get paid for processing those calls and it adds up. Hold the telephone carriers responsible and you fix this permanently. But it will never happen...money rules all.

Once again I am in that world.

I get calls about vacations I never took, and offering to give me a "special deal" on trips to Bermuda.

I have been on the no-call list for many years, updated. Makes no difference. I had to pay about $100 for an attachment which works well to cancel them. Only problem is that so many friends have to hide their ID that I sometimes cancel them too. I don't know why they do this.

The federal and state governments pass legislation prohibiting this problem but it seems there are built in loop holes. The telecom industry has to much influence on the wording of these bills. Resulting in laws that sounds good but have rubber teeth.

If I see a number that doesn't look familiar I just DO NOT ANSWER it. I once heard that if you pick up your phone, they will not stop calling. So just DON'T ANSWER!

Actually that doesn’t work. I won’t answer either then get three calls in succession. You could try something my husband did, asked the caller for his home number. He he said what for? Hubby said you guys call me at all hours, then I’ll reciprocate.

We have so many calls at least 50. One of them are the "V" numbers on top, then (1)844-820-2464 I couldn't even find a area code. We get all these calls and they are different, and others try again.

The government needs to force the phone company to discontinue phone service to these scammers.

I keep getting calls on my cell from a 513-207 - xXxX exchange. Different last 4 number but all from the same 207 prefix.

If AT&T wanted to put a stop to it they could but they are making money from it ,all ways follow the money. period

I agree. They get paid per call processed, it adds up. Government cannot order a private billion dollar company to do anything. Also, you can track down the public IP addresses to the ISP resellers who are selling them to India, Pakistan, etc. But they won't.

We got a hold of Xfinity, and they could let us block 25 calls. Within a day or two, we had blocked around 16. There was no end. So we shut the answering machine off and let it ring. My husband got into it with one guy, told him never call back, he did a lot.

Apparently we are all in the same boat. Since I have been on the do not call list we now get at least 4 calls per day. There is a system out there called "No More Robo", which I am told is very effective. However, Verizon does not support it. I have found the most effective way to deal with telemarketers is to screen your calls. Set your answering machine to ring twice or have it go directly to voice mail. A friend or responsible party will leave a message, (allowing you to pick up) but telemarketers will hang up. Works great. You still get the annoying calls but you are able to screen them. For cell phones, if there is no name shown or the number is unfamiliar, don't answer. Telemarketers will seldom leave a voice message.

very informative

So these fines that the FTC is collecting. Is the Fines being distributed to the public for the harassment? Is the fines being used in the court to fine the telemarketers?

I was wondering the same thing. It has been reported on the Do Not Call Registry's very own website and I quote "To date, the FTC has sued hundreds of companies and individuals who were responsible for placing unwanted calls, and has obtained over a billion dollars in judgments against violators." - My question is, where has that money gone? What about the billions of people who are harassed daily, they get nothing? It should at least explain where those billions of dollars go or how they get spent, it should be public information.

Perp walks in prime time will end it in weeks

I am finding these calls sound like a live human but they are in fact recordings and disconnect when they hear key words. Either that or they are pretending they don't hear you asking questions like the company name & phone # they are calling from. The numbers they call from are fake. Reporting the numbers is futile.

We are so sick of the telephone calls. X-finity could let us block 25, but they just use another "V" number and call back. The main reason I am writing to you, is we were watching TV, the phone nunber comes up on the screen, and we got 2 phone numbers after 9:00pm We are at our wits end. I thought they couldn't call after 9:00 pm? When my husband answered the phone several weeks ago, he told the guy to quit calling, the guy said no and they started cussing each other, which isn't like my husband. I have every phone number wrote down, especially after tonight. There has to be away to stop them? Thans for your time.

my suggestion based on what i do is simply block the number, reject it or just dont answer the phone when a non number calls u. they eventually give up. if i so happen to answer cause its a local number soon as i hear a voice say hi im calling or whatever i hang up the block. they go to voicemail. or use the CM app block list setting it reports the number to a community of ppl helping everyone avoid calls from the unwanted

The solution here is to completely outlaw ALL telemarketers. A $10,000 fine for any telemarketer call would solve the issue.

$10,000 isn't enough. Make it more like $250,000 or $500,000 and some prison time. Then you might have an effect.

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