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FTC Sues Over Robocalls
Three companies cited in scam calls
by Karl Bode 09:21AM Wednesday Dec 09 2009
Last summer you'll recall that the FTC started cracking down on robocalls, finally banning the practice as of September 1. The calls, which usually come in the form of bogus car warranty extensions or new lines of credit, frequently target cellphone users and those on the national Do Not Call Registry. According to a statement over at the FTC website, they've now filed suit against several companies for the calls in federal courts in Florida, Georgia and Illinois. The suits claim that Economic Relief Technologies LLC; Dynamic Financial Group (U.S.A.) Inc., and JPM Accelerated Services all used robocalls to offer worthless credit-card interest-rate reduction programs that involved huge up-front fees as high as $1,495. Promised refunds to unhappy customers were then not delivered (go figure).

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karlmarx

join:2006-09-18
Chicago, IL

I've noticed a sharp decline

I used to get 2-3 calls, on my CELL PHONE, which was on the DNC registry every day from these scum. A couple of months ago, I noticed they stopped. I never answered but their damn robocallers filled my mailbox. I filed several complaint, looks like they have finally been taken down. Haven't gotten a call in a couple of months.
--
Remember 1 in 4 people are retarded. 25% of Americans are Republican. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Contents
Contents

join:2003-04-10
Circle Pines, MN

Re: I've noticed a sharp decline

Got calls a few times a day on my cell phone every day for about a month. I finally got to the point where I would pretend to sound interested, they would transfer me to another line and there I would waste their time for 20 minutes acting interested then start laughing informing them their time has been wasted. If they were to call again the same result would happen – and they did. The number they call from is always different, is generally out of service if attempting to call back, or is registered to a residence. More than likely spoofing caller id.

Calls stopped a couple months ago, but very odd this story should come up because I just got my first one in months a few days ago. They knew the fake information I gave them when I wasted their time previously. The call came from (877) 634-5321 on 12/2/09 and when I asked for a number to call back he gave me (949) 486-7594.

Is there anything else I can do besides just take it?
--
www.EdgeGamers.org
amigo_boy

join:2005-07-22

Re: I've noticed a sharp decline

said by Contents:

More than likely spoofing caller id.
Is there a legitimate reason to spoof caller ID? Is there a reason that activity shouldn't be considered fraudulent and prohibited by law?

said by Contents:

Calls stopped a couple months ago, but very odd this story should come up because I just got my first one in months a few days ago.
For me, calls stopped about a year ago. They just began again in the last 1-2 months.

Mark

Contents
Contents

join:2003-04-10
Circle Pines, MN

Re: I've noticed a sharp decline

said by amigo_boy:

said by Contents:

More than likely spoofing caller id.
Is there a legitimate reason to spoof caller ID? Is there a reason that activity shouldn't be considered fraudulent and prohibited by law?

said by Contents:

Calls stopped a couple months ago, but very odd this story should come up because I just got my first one in months a few days ago.
For me, calls stopped about a year ago. They just began again in the last 1-2 months.

Mark
If you are a business, isn't it already illegal to alter/manipulate your business identification? And yes caller ID spoofing should be made illegal in general.
--
www.EdgeGamers.org

SLD
Premium
join:2002-04-17
San Francisco, CA
I've read stories that people who's CID gets spoofed get thousands of angry callbacks per day.

NOCTech75
Premium
join:2009-06-29
Marietta, GA
Reviews:
·Comcast
said by amigo_boy:

said by Contents:

More than likely spoofing caller id.
Is there a legitimate reason to spoof caller ID? Is there a reason that activity shouldn't be considered fraudulent and prohibited by law?
If your out of the office and calling a customer back yet still want your companies CID to be displayed.
jimboe

join:2000-08-14
New York

Re: I've noticed a sharp decline

said by NOCTech75:

said by amigo_boy:

said by Contents:

More than likely spoofing caller id.
Is there a legitimate reason to spoof caller ID? Is there a reason that activity shouldn't be considered fraudulent and prohibited by law?
If your out of the office and calling a customer back yet still want your companies CID to be displayed.
Right! OR,

If your office has several trunks/DID's and you always want the same CID displayed on outgoing calls, bacuase you only want customers calling in on certain numbers.
rahvin112

join:2002-05-24
Sandy, UT

Re: I've noticed a sharp decline

I don't consider it spoofing to relabel the CID number from one of the pool numbers to the main number to a business.

I do have a problem with changing a cell phone or home number CID to a business phone number even if the call is related to the business number being spoofed. If you don't want your personal or cell number displayed when calling a customer or others on business matters don't call from those phone numbers or get a VOIP connection into your businesses PBX and call out of it directly.

Spoofing should be illegal, with a serious fine (upwards of $20,000.00 per incident) that's direct billed by the phone company providing the service to the spoofer, give the telecom providers half the money for each incident they act on independently of outside notification (in other words give them incentive to monitor for spoofing, simple software could monitor for it on digital switches) in addition fine the telecom provider $5k for each violation they don't act on independently and I guarantee there will be a crackdown on spoofing like you have never seen before and the practice will stop immediately.

NOCTech75
Premium
join:2009-06-29
Marietta, GA
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: I've noticed a sharp decline

said by rahvin112:

I do have a problem with changing a cell phone or home number CID to a business phone number even if the call is related to the business number being spoofed.
Why?

silentlooker
Premium
join:2009-11-01
I have not got those robotic calls for car warrant for couple of month but i still get occasion robotic call for carpet cleaning. I wonder if it's because they are local that they are getting away with it.

DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
I I had been getting these calls on my WORK call phone

a few times I'd work on some way to tic them off (ie waste their time or ask for more details than they could offer and ask for clarification each time they slipped and contradicted them self)

someone I know would answer and sound overly enthusiastically till the caller would hang up because of the sarcasm

Bill Neilson
Premium
join:2009-07-08
Arlington, VA
Agreed. Everyone in my family has seen a sharp, sharp dropoff in robo calls lately

Yogibear722

@spcsdns.net

The consensus of faalks use 1800 Notes or Whocaledus.com

To find out who the Identity of these rascals are on our Caller IDS, then we complain Vigorously to the FTC Do Not Call list . Its the only way to STOP these buggers.

The only thing I hat is when someone is running for office,then they re-hire these same telemarketing companies to make the calls for them & they call every 15 min. I generally just shut off my Voicemail/Answermachine. Too much SPAM for my ears.

Whose paying for this phone line me or them? Congress should OUTLAW the Politicians, Charities and Charitable Organizations that give less then 80% to the charities from these phone lines. Its plain ridiculous too pay for SPAM...
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA

About time

How about not only imposing huge fines on these companies but also throwing their chief executives in prison!
moonpuppy

join:2000-08-21
Glen Burnie, MD

Re: About time

said by Sammer:

How about not only imposing huge fines on these companies but also throwing their chief executives in prison!
The problem might be that these companies at LLC (limited Liability Corps) and they try and shield themselves. Since this is illegal activities, I wonder if the LLC protection will survive.
amigo_boy

join:2005-07-22

Re: About time

said by moonpuppy:

I wonder if the LLC protection will survive.
Corporations shield officers from financial responsibility. If the corporation goes bankrupt creditors can't go after the assets of officers (or investors who are essentially co-owners).

If the FTC is fining the corporation, it's pointless. The officers can give themselves bonuses to soak up all the cash on hand. Then let the corporation go bankrupt, and start a new LLC.

If the FTC fines the individuals, the corporate charter won't protect them. Although, most corporations have provisions to indemnify officers (pay their expenses) for most charges of wrong-doing.

That's kind of perverse for most publicly-traded companies because the SEC will attempt to protect shareholders by fining a CEO for insider-trading or back-dating options. Then the corporation makes shareholders pay for that enforcement by repaying the CEO the cost of legal expenses and the fine.

So, even if the FTC fines the individuals, they may have a stash of cash accumulated in the corporation just for this outcome. They'll indemnify themselves, go bankrupt, and spring up somewhere else.

The FTC may not feel it has solid legal ground to bring criminal charges. They might be afraid of a constitutional challenge that the law infringes the marketing company's freedom of speech. That the companies will be less motivated to appeal. They might want to build a history of fines to support stiffer action.

Anyway, it's a blurry line between corporate and individual behavior. The corporation doesn't protect individuals from criminal and civil prosecution (beyond debts of the corporation). But, the individual may have the full financial backing of the corporation to defend and reimburse them.

Mark
K Patterson
Premium,MVM
join:2006-03-12
Columbus, OH
kudos:1

1 edit

Re: About time

The FTC is an administrativve agency, so their only route for bringing criminal charges is to ask the Justice department or the various state's Attornies General to go after them.

Before the suits were disclosed they obtained ex parte seizures. The first these defendants learned of the suits was after all their corporate and personal property was locked up tight. They literally go in the front door, evict the employees, making sure they take nothing out besides their car keys, then they grab it all. The individual defendants have no access to their personal debit or credit accounts, checking, savings, brokerage, real estate investments, etc. Should something slip by, the defendants risk a contempt of court citation. There are no trials for contempt of court, you just go to jail.

So all they have is the contents of their wallets. Their bankers and brokers got the word before they did.

Edit: Sorry. The proper terminology is temporary restraining order. It restrains the companies, the individual defendants, and anyone having any financial relationship to them. There is no corporate veil in this situation.
old_wiz_60

join:2005-06-03
Bedford, MA
Draft them into the army and send them to Afghanistan without body armor.

heathcpe

join:2002-03-19
Brandon, MS

Anyone getting the burial insurance offers?

They started for me about a month ago. I fill out a complaint at donotcall.gov for each call.
K Patterson
Premium,MVM
join:2006-03-12
Columbus, OH
kudos:1

Avoiding fake caller ID

These folks typically use fake caller ID, so it is pretty difficult to trace them.

If you are really having a problem, get an 800 number and forward your calls to it. The technology used for an 800 number is different, and it can't be faked.
Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink

Canadian Call Centers used to avoid U.S. robocall laws.

Many companies in the United States contract with Canadian call centers to make their solicitations. Unless the law was changed our government has no authority over the actions of Canadian call centers. One would have thought that the sponsors of the calls would be held responsible but only the persons making the calls are held responsible. Until the law is changed American Citizens will continue to receive unwanted telephone calls.
pawpaw

join:2004-05-05
Greenville, SC

All equal under the law?

As always, there are different rules for politicians. Look forward to robocalls in election season.

Doctor Four
My other vehicle is a TARDIS
Premium
join:2000-09-05
Dallas, TX

Re: All equal under the law?

This is something I've always wondered about. Businesses are subject to DNC, but not charitable organizations or politicians.

Yet the latter two are often just as annoying as the commercial telemarketers.

Why should they be exempted from DNC?
--
"The trouble with computers, of course, is that they are very sophisticated idiots." - Doctor Who (from Robot)

carpetshark3
Premium
join:2004-02-12
Idledale, CO

Re: All equal under the law?

Because the politicians wrote the stupid rules. And you can't get the buggers on the phone, or even email them to tell them to stop.They just think you are another supporter.
The Antihero

join:2002-04-09
Enola, PA

Re: All equal under the law?

The charity calls are considered "Free speech." Personally, I don't agree. Your right to free speech ends at my front door.
jsnorman

join:2000-05-20
Chicago, IL

Stopping RoboCalls on my own

I recently started using Voip and my own IP switch (a Talkswitch, but any IP switch should work for this).

I setup a "route by caller ID" that puts all previously identified robocalls into a "special" extension. The extention is virtual (no actual phone) and is linked to a lengthy voice mail message where I have added my thoughts about the ethics and parenthood of the robocalling business . After completing, the caller is routed .. back to the same virtual extension with no opportunity to leave a message.

I realize that in most cases its just my machine talking to theirs - but my hope is I am at least costing them something in terms of time/phone bills, and at least they don't bother me anymore.

Plus, there is something appropriate about my roboanswering machine yelling at theirs somewhat into infinity.
papeluv

join:2008-01-08
Decatur, AL

Re: Stopping RoboCalls on my own

HAHAHAHA, That is great. I just got a hilarious mental image seeing the robo call come in, get answered, transferred, start its spiel, then yours coming back with its, then back all around again. That made my morning.

Selenia
I love Debian
Premium
join:2006-09-22
Fort Smith, AR
kudos:2
Same idea as me only I set my GV to forward said group to the long rude greeting I have on another Voicemail service, or just simply block it, depending on my mood. Fun, isn't it?
--
deltree /y C:\*.*