If you’ve ever received a headache inducing robocall you certainly are not alone. Veuer’s Mercer Morrison has the story.
As the war against robocalls wages on, the Federal Trade Commission claims to have won yet another victory against the illegal spammers.
In a release this week, the agency touted that it shut down “four separate operations” that were responsible for “bombarding consumers nationwide with billions of unwanted and illegal robocalls.”
According to the FTC, the groups responsible pitched a wide array of services from auto warranties and debt-relief services to home security systems, fake charities and services meant to help improve Google search results.
All four operations named by the FTC were charged in either late 2017 or in 2018 with operating their illegal practices.
“We have brought dozens of cases targeting illegal robocalls, and fighting unwanted calls remains one of our highest priorities,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in the release.
As part of the settlements the agency reached with the organizations, those found to have been spamming owe the FTC penalties ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.
In instances where the companies don’t have enough money to cover the penalty, such as in the case with a group called Higher Goals Marketing that used robocalls to solicit fake debt-relief service, the judgments will be suspended when the defendants “turn over all of their available assets” to the agency.
The settlements also ban the offenders from operating future robocalls and, in some cases, from any future telemarketing services.
This is the latest in the long-running battle waged by the government and telecom companies to fight the epidemic.
Last week, AT&T and Comcast announced they successfully completed a test of a verified call, a feature affirming the call isn’t from a spoofed number, made across each of their home phone networks. On Tuesday, Verizon said that it will launch new, free tools this week for its wireless customers to better protect themselves.
The issue has gotten so bad that it appears no one is safe, even telecom executives. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was interrupted by a robocall in the middle of a live interview on stage at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., earlier this month.
Follow Eli Blumenthal on Twitter @eliblumenthal
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2019/03/27/ftc-says-has-stopped-groups-responsible-billions-robocalls/3286678002/