FTC's 'Operation Call It Quits' cracks down on groups responsible for over a billion robocalls

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,920   +765
Staff member

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has begun taking action against robocalls in earnest. In a press release issued today, the FTC says it has filed 94 law enforcement actions against companies that are responsible for over one billion illegal calls.

The commission calls the renewed effort “Operation Call It Quits.” Including four new legal cases and three settlements, the FTC has brought 145 cases against robocalling outfits. Most of the organizations claim to offer to lower credit card interest rates, money-making opportunities, and medical alert systems.

The commission listed several examples that it has filed claims against. First Choice Horizon offers to lower credit card interest to zero for the life of the debt. It favored contacting senior citizens and allegedly tricked them into giving up their personal information, including social security and credit card numbers.

The FTC has also taken action against individuals. Derek Jason Bartoli, for example, has allegedly been working in the illegal telemarketing industry for several years providing “dialer” and IT services. In the last six months of 2017 alone, the FTC claims his auto-dialing system made 57 million calls, millions of which used spoofed caller ID information.

To round up these culprits, the commission has partnered with 45 law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. Agencies and attorneys general from more than 15 states have signed on to the initiative. Partners have been responsible for the bulk of the recent actions.

“Every year, our office gets more consumer complaints about unwanted robocalls than just about any other issue,” said Curtis Hill, attorney general for Indiana. “At best, these calls represent a nuisance for families just wanting to enjoy peace and privacy without needless disturbances interrupting their routines. At worst, they represent scams that successfully steal people’s identities or hard-earned money.”

The crackdown follows recent calls for legislation in the House and Senate, and a push for stronger enforcement from the Federal Communication Commission.

If you’re interested in the details of the individual actions, the FTC has them listed in its press release.

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Uncle Al

Posts: 8,001   +6,775
The real issue remains with the TELCO. Those PBX's they operate are more than capable of blocking numbers by a wide variety of options (the old Siemen's systems could block individual phone numbers, pre-fixes, blocks of last fours, country codes, the variations were endless).
The bottom line, as always, is MONEY. They block services, they loose customers and revenue. Now, if the Congress and FCC were on it's game they would create serious penalties for non-compliance. That would surely get their attention, especially if those penalties were "loss of revenue" for large periods of time .....