The Federal Trade Commission has been going after robocalls full force, enlisting the help of over 100 federal and state law enforcement departments to participate in “Operation Stop Scam Calls”. Attorneys general from all states are also helping locate and fine the sources of fraudulent telemarketing schemes.
An announcement posted earlier today reads, “The FTC and its partners are committed to stopping illegal calls by targeting anyone in the telemarketing ecosystem that assists and facilitates these calls.”
The FTC announced they have found over 180 actions targeting operations behind billions of robocalls to U.S. households. “Operation Stop Scam Calls” looks for shady telemarketing companies but also their lead-generating sources in addition to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) who operate telemarketing scams internationally. Third-party lead generation is prohibited under the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).
“Today, government agencies at all levels are united in fighting the scourge of illegal telemarketing. We are taking action against those who trick people into phony consent to receive these calls and those who make it easy and cheap to place these calls,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The FTC and its law enforcement partners will not rest in the fight against illegal telemarketing.”
“Operation Stop Spam Calls” has filed cases against 167 robocallers, totaling $2 billion in issued fines and collecting $394 million towards refunding those who had been scammed. The list also includes companies violating the Do Not Call (DNC) registry. Five new cases were announced by the FTC today stand accused of illegally acquiring phone numbers from third-party lead generators and using the information provided to conduct numerous scam calls.
“Our collective efforts – from this sweep to the Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force and beyond – help us to expand our playbook, allowing us to outwit and defeat these perpetrators in their own arena,” said Dave Yost, Ohio’s Attorney General. “Our secret weapon is consumers – whom we urge to continue reporting illicit robocalls, so we can sever these unwanted illegal robocallers’ connection once and for all.”
Across 48 federal and 54 state agencies, an additional 180 cases have been filed under “Operation Stop Scam Calls”. These agencies include the Department of Justice, the Federal Communications Commission, the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
“Unsolicited robocalls violate consumers’ privacy and unnecessarily cost them time and money. Companies responsible for these illegal, annoying calls must be held accountable,” said Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. “I am proud of my office’s role in this robocall sweep with the Federal Trade Commission, law enforcement partners, and my fellow attorneys general from across the country. I will continue to work to address this problem in Illinois and protect consumers’ rights by fighting against these unlawful and disruptive practices.”
In a unanimous vote held by the FTC, the following companies have been targeted:
- Fluent, LLC
- Viceroy Media Solutions, LLC
- Yodel Technologies, LLC
- Solar Xchange LLC
- Hello Hello Miami, LLC
If you receive any suspicious calls, report them to the FTC.