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Robocallers, you’re out

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Most robocalls are prohibited by law, but scammers and dishonest people continue to send them. And even some legitimate companies violate peoples’ privacy rights with illegal robocalls. Today the FTC announced several victories in the fight against illegal robocalls.
 
In the first victory, the FTC announced that it stopped the operator of a series of sham charities called “Veterans of America.” That operator sent millions of robocalls to donors and collected more than half a million dollars illegally. The robocalls’ message claimed that the organization was a charity and donations were tax deductible. None of that was true. The FTC stopped him in his tracks, and now he can’t send or help others send robocalls anymore.
 
In the second victory, the FTC announced that three individual defendants in the case against Point Break Media agreed to a robocall ban, and a ban on helping others send robocalls. All of them were part of a scheme that sent false (and alarming) robocalls to small business owners to get their money.
 
Today’s announcement also includes a double victory in the NetDotSolutions case. Three defendants who provided the autodialers used to place billions of illegal robocalls are now banned from supplying autodialers to telemarketers. In fact, those defendants provided the autodialing technology used by robocallers in at least eight prior FTC cases. They also will pay $1.35 million.

And finally, yet importantly, the FTC got a fourth victory in the Higher Goals Marketing case, where seven defendants agreed to a telemarketing ban. These defendants operated a credit card debt-relief scheme, which they started just weeks after the FTC closed a similar operation in the Life Management Services case, and where several of the defendants had previously worked.
 
The FTC’s work against illegal robocalls continues, and you can help by letting us know when you get an illegal robocall: www.ftc.gov/complaint. Read this article to learn more, or visit ftc.gov/calls.

Comments

I wouldn't be so quick to declare victory. My cell phone continues to be overwhelmed with robocalls! Robocalls that can't be traced, because when you call the number that shows up as theirs, you get a recorded message saying their number does not exist! What is the FTC doing about THAT ???!!! (And don't tell me to sign up for the Do Not Call List. The situation actually got WORSE - AFTER I signed up for the do not call list !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Yay! Keep up the good work.

This is AWESOME! Nice work, FTC!
Now, the FTC needs to totally rid us of IRS and back brace scams!

How are these entities even able to set up shop anyway? Don't they need a valid and registered business license? If not, why not?

Got One yesterday saying thy we're Bank of America Please Call 302-455-6148 Hooked up teh Number it was Not associated with teh Bank! Even gave a reference Number? I believe third is woh Stammes & defrauded me! Saw a Fake lost Pet ad - i Think all who replied maybe be getting theory Facebook Account hacked & taken over to defrauded theory Payment Act. So Mandy Scanners in Facebook. They set up Fake Merchant accts Business Accounts charging subscriptions Software & ads!! Facebook needs to Ban These Scammer hackers Form Craigslist & Facebook. Lots of Bank fraud! Electronic fraud!

i get them everyday,especially on my landline. I would love not getting them anymore, I have been on the do not call list for years but it doesnt matter

The Do Not Call Registry prohibits sales calls. Most legitimate companies won't call you if your name is on the Registry.

If your number is on the Registry and a company calls, it's probably a scammer.

Not true at ALL. I still get a plethora of robocalls from “solicitors” such as roofing contractors, insurance offers, etc. They are LEGITIMATE businesses and call anyway because they KNOW they won’t suffer any consequences. Maybe this will change?

The Do Not Call Registry prohibits sales calls. Most legitimate companies won't call you if your number is on the Registry. If they do, tell the FTC at www.FTC.gov/DoNotCall.

Even if your number is listed on the Do Not Call Registry, you still may get political calls, charitable calls, debt collection calls, informational calls, and telephone survey calls.

In addition, companies may still call if you recently did business with them, or if you gave them written permission to call you. However, if you ask a company not to call you again, it must honor your request.

Third party blockers can block all of the above- political calls, charitable calls, debt collection calls, informational calls, telephone survey calls, even those recent businesses if you wish.

While many of those may be legal, they can be stopped!

If you're on the Do Not Call list, then, no matter how "legitimate" they sound, they are — at the very least — in violation of the law. Treat them as scammers; they most likely are.

every day I get robocalls from people for Medicare~~student loans, Tech service refund~~ and a lot of other things~~I am on the Do Not Call list and it does no good~~I finally got a piece of equipment that connects to my phone and I can block any call that comes in~~it helps but they must have a massive amount of numbers they use as I still get calls everyday from the same people~~it has 5000 robo call numbers programmed into the device but does not include a lot of numbers~~I am damn sick and tired of being bothered with these people period~~it is a never ending battle~~

Yes the "do not call list" is a total joke. Some days we receive 4 or 5 robocalls and even tho we've reported we still get them. It's infuriating to dash at breakneck speed when one is expecting a call only to have one of these nuisance callers on the other end of the phone. I say fine them and jail them!

The Do Not Call only helps with legitimate companies- these scammers do not care. Get a device for your phone that uses crowd data from the Internet to block the scammers. This is the only way to win the RoboCall fight.

I am on the do not call registry but it does not help one bit.

I get 8 to 10 robocalls per day on my land line and the same on my cell phone...no matter if I block them they still call with a different number....THIS IS DISGUSTING AND RUINING MY PRIVACY....THEY CALL ALL HOURS OF THE DAY AND NIGHT. I CAN NO LONGER ANSWER MY PHONE EVEN THOUGH I NEED MEDICAL INFO
CAN'T THESE BE STOPPED????

What about the continuous extended vehicle warranty?! I get those 5 time a day. I get asked "our records show that you vehicle warranty is about to expire, is that right? " I can say or yell no, and I still get transferred to someone! I can't tell you how many times that I have told them to put me on their do not call list and THEY STILL CALL!!!! I have the Note9 and I have blocked and reported the numbers so many times that it's not funny. I also get a robo call about Amazon looking to hire people on my area.

It is great to hear that these scams have been stopped. Unfortunately this scourge of robocalls will continue. Every morning between 8:30 and 9AM local time my phone starts ringing with garbage phone calls about printer cartridges or chronic pain braces. It is very annoying. Pressing nine to be removed does no good, the calls keep coming. FTC - keep up the good work and put more people in jail please.

Pressing the key they asked you to press - for whatever reason - is causing more calls. You just confirmed there's a person who answers.

Pressing a requested key means that you will get MORE calls, not be removed. Think about it: would a robocaller care if you want off their list? You have just confirmed that it's a valid number and someone answers it.

You're right, Put them in jail and have a telephone ringer in the cell with them. During their entire vacation there they should hear that phone ringer every half hour 24-hours a day, day in day out!

DON'T press any number at all - that only confirms you are a live person and you will get even more telemarketing/robo calls. Instead, hang up without answering. Then block that number (even if a phishing/fake number). Get a new phone number helps too.

First of all, never answer calls from numbers you don't recognize.
Second, should you mistakenly answer a spam call DO NOT RESPOND IN ANY WAY. In other words do not speak or press anything. Just hang up.
Thirdly- perhaps most importantly- immediately block that number in your phone settings. Old phone won't block calls? Add the number to your contacts labeled SPAM. Add every additional spam number that calls you to that contact. Now every time they call your phone's screen will say SPAM.(If you still have a landline, enable call blocking through your provider and use it.) After a month or so the calls dwindle quickly.

Ditto! And Affordable Health! They call me about 10 times every day!

Thank you so much for your great work!

This is all good, how do we stop the ones we are still getting?

This is great news.

Congratulation. So happy to hear that some of these robo calls will be stopped now. Still to many out there. Thank you

THANK YOU, 1. for giving us names of conspirators, THANK YOU, 2. for taking action, THANK YOU. Now, how about dose PHISHING FOR INFORMATION, will you please BLOCK them. Answer me this, why aren't the emails we want to BLOCK...…….BLOCKED? THANK YOU for all your hard work.

I'm very pleased that something is finally being done about all these illegal robocall scams . You close them down though & that many more pop up! Thanks for what you are doing to help.

Great news. This is one of the most irritating things people have to deal with on a daily basis other than the constant bombardment of pop ups and ads. Great work!

I hate to say it, but I don't see how agreed robocall bans are victories. Aren't they just agreeing not to do what they already couldn't do legally? Basically saying, "Okay, fine, we promise to follow the law this time"? They should be punished for violating it in the first place! Why are we not seeing massive payments by all, to at least repay the money they obtained illegally and cover the government's costs in pursuing them? (Yes, I did note that one of the four also agreed to pay $1.35 million.)

If you click on the links in this blog, you can read more about each case and the related financial judgements.  

How about spending some the robo call penalty money on an app that we can use to stop robo calls

What percentage of those financial judgements are actually collected? How long does that take?

Why isn't the financial judgement for the amount that the scammers/spammers earned via their robocalls?
Why hasn't the FCC & the FTC required every telecommunications corporation to provide FREE blocking mechanisms? Why isn't the fed gov funding development of ways to block robocalls? Prevention is key, otherwise the FTC is just playing whack-a-mole.

Great to hear! Hopefully this will be a long term solution

I just sent a bunch of numbers to report a marketing company that is trying to sell health insurance. I have blocked hundreds of numbers and they keep changing thei state and phones. So far they have used numbers from PA, GA, NC, AL, and other states. Even though I block each time I can, they continue to harass me. I have tried everything to stop them to no avail. I worked for a health insurance agency and stopped calling anyone who requested not to call them. It was emphasized with all our agents to not call DNC numbers. So who are thes marketing groups. Why are they not being fined?

These announcements are laudable, but they prove to me that FTC does not have any real power. I get approximately 20 robocalls every day, about half of which are hangups. The rest are recorded calls, fake charities, or scams. I use NOMOROBO on my landline, and it helps a little - about 8 calls a day. Please work with the FCC and the Congress to do something about robocalls.

This sounds like "catch and release". No jail time? In only one of the four cited cases was there a monetary penalty, and that was probably very much less than what the scammer raked in. And in another, it was even stated that perpetrators caught in a previous scam that was shut down just started up another. These calls won't stop until real consequences are meted out.

If you click on the links in this blog, you can read more about each case and the related financial judgements.

Thank you for this info!!!!

Tax them per call. Put it towards real health care. And no political party should be able to touch the money ! It is actually for the people!!!

Finally. That is great. Waiting for a call from my doc and easily received over ten while trying to screen my calls. The other thing I would like to see is a posting that entides I have to deal with (hosp, insurance, banks...) do not sell my name on marketing lists. Actually motor vehicle here does that as "public information"$$$

While I would like to believe what you are saying, I am getting more robot calls every day.

I have received 2 robocalls today. I usually get 3-6 a day. What can I do to make them stop?

I don't answer the phone unless family. Otherwise if a friend they start talking and then I'll pick up the phone. Works for me.

This is great news, but "robocall bans" doesn't seem like much of a punishment. Most of us are not naive enough to think that these dishonest people will follow through with their "promises". FTC - Hit them where it will hurt the most- in their pockets & life style. Send them to jail for years & fine them 100% of their profits. This will make the rest of these scum buckets to think twice about participating in this illegal trade.

Good news, but now it's time to focus on working with the telecoms to stop autodialers altogether, or at least require them to be registered and traceable. I want to be able to answer my phone again without worrying that every call is a scam. That's when we can call it a true victory.

That is good news. I hope you get rid of all the other robocalls too. Last week, they called my home number and cell phone several times. By the way these robocalls are not in English.

Great job.

In the last three weeks I have received over 80 phone calls from all over the United States asking why I called them. I did not know any of the individuals, or why they were calling. They each told me that my name and phone number showed up on their phone or answering machine and they were returning my call to know why I called them. I'm sure it's some kind of a scam, but I don't have any idea what. My phone provider told me that the only thing they would recommend was to change my number, which we've had for 50 years. Anyway, if there's anything you folks can do to stop this, it would be very appreciated. Thanks and Best Wishes for all you do.

Now work on the Social Security, IRS, lower your electric bill, get rid of student loans, lower credit card rates, SCAMS, I get 100’s of calls pet month from these scammers. The biggest scam is the one telling you to go buy gift cards and then give them all the info from the card, I know of an elderly woman who this happened to. I keep blocking them and they keep calling from new numbers, I’m not well and it is really annoying that I have to shut off all my phones to get some peace. Please STOP these thieves

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