“Travel Club” Telemarketer Fined $2.96M For Robocalling Consumers

“Travel Club” Telemarketer Fined $2.96M For Robocalling Consumers

Whenever we tell readers that it’s important for them to file complaints when they receive illegal robocalls, some inevitably respond that they believe it’s pointless and nothing ever comes of their gripe. But today, the FCC announced a nearly $3 million fine against a robocalling telemarketer following complaints from consumers who took the time to speak up. [More]

Usage: Consumer Reports September 2015
Story: Robocalls
Brand: CPR
Model: CallBlocker Protect
CU: N/A
Photographer: Rebekah Nemethy

Consumers Put Robocall-Blocking Devices To The Test

While we wait for phone companies to get around to offering services that help consumers block unwanted prerecorded robocalls, there are already several options available for people to use now, but not all of them may be up to the task. [More]

PayPal Tweaking User Agreement To Remove Mandatory Robocalls

PayPal Tweaking User Agreement To Remove Mandatory Robocalls

PayPal’s new user agreement — the one that gives the company even more latitude to make obnoxious prerecorded marketing calls to “any telephone number that you have provided us or that we have otherwise obtained” — is set to kick in this week, but following an FCC warning that this policy might be in violation of federal law, and a letter from multiple senators asking PayPal to rethink its new terms, the company has agreed to make changes that “clear up any confusion.” [More]

FCC Votes To Give Consumers The Right To Block Annoying Spam Robocalls And Texts

FCC Votes To Give Consumers The Right To Block Annoying Spam Robocalls And Texts

You hate getting robocalls. The FCC knows you hate getting robocalls. And so today the Commission voted to move forward with a proposal that would allow consumers to block all those annoying calls and texts. [More]

FCC Says PayPal’s New User Agreement Violates Anti-Robocall Rules

FCC Says PayPal’s New User Agreement Violates Anti-Robocall Rules

We recently took a look at how PayPal’s already questionable user agreement is about to get even more invasive, giving the company a broader range of ways to contact customers with robocalls and spam texts, and with no apparent way to opt out. Today, the FCC notified PayPal that it has some concerns that the revised agreement might run afoul of federal laws. [More]

FCC Proposes Giving Consumers Right To Block Telemarketing Calls & Texts

FCC Proposes Giving Consumers Right To Block Telemarketing Calls & Texts

You know what’s not awesome? Answering your phone only to be greeted by a prerecorded robocall telemarketing message. Even a decade after the establishment of the Do Not Call registry and rules banning certain types of robocalls, unwanted calls and messages still top the list of complaints to the FCC each year. Today, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler proposed closing some additional loopholes in order to cut down on these annoying intrusions. [More]

(Tara Chavez)

Telemarketer Penalized $3.4M For Scamming Elderly Into Paying For Unwanted Medical Alert Service

Two years ago, the Federal Trade Commission shut down a Brooklyn-based telemarketing scheme that bullied elderly consumers into paying for a medical alert service they never ordered or wanted. Now a federal court has hit the telemarketer’s repeat-offender operator with a $3.4 million penalty. [More]

(Great Beyond)

FTC Orders Company That Swindled Tens Of Millions From Seniors To Pay $10M Judgment

We’ve said it too many times to count at this point, but scammers who take advantage of senior citizens are the worst. Today, the Federal Trade Commission made sure there was one less scammer out there by permanently barring the mastermind behind a multi-million dollar fraud from all future telemarketing activities. [More]

Why Do Robocalls Continue In An Age Of “Do Not Call” And Strict Telemarketing Rules?

Why Do Robocalls Continue In An Age Of “Do Not Call” And Strict Telemarketing Rules?

Even though millions of Americans are on the federal Do Not Call list to limit unwanted telemarketing calls, and even though it’s illegal for anyone to make a commercial prerecorded robocall to a consumer who hasn’t given their express consent to receive such calls, the problem persists and is getting worse, with no cure-all solution in the offing. [More]

A diagram from the FTC complaint showing how millions of automated marketing robocalls were made each day under the guise of a political survey.

Telemarketers Accused Of Using Political Robocalls To Pitch Caribbean Cruise Packages

While people at various points on the political spectrum may disagree about many topics, one sentiment many of them share is a distaste for prerecorded phone calls from political organizations. Like them or not, they’re generally legal even if the recipient is on the federal Do Not Call list. But when you use a supposedly political telemarketing call to ultimately shill for a cruise line, you’ve crossed over into the dark side. [More]

(Dan Coulter)

Demand That Phone Companies Give Consumers Free Tools To Block Robocalls

While federal regulations and the Do Not Call list have significantly cut down on some auto-dialed, prerecorded messages, the problem of illegal robocalls still persists, mostly because scammers don’t care if they break the law. There are various technologies that phone companies could use to preempt even more of these calls but most consumers don’t have access to them. [More]

(Peeping Dragon Photography)

Police: Telemarketer’s Phone Call Saved Woman 900 Miles Away From Violent Attack

Usually a telemarketer’s call is greeted with annoyance, disdain or even outright anger. But in one recent case, that unsolicited phone call has been credited with saving a woman’s life, from 900 miles away. [More]

Sprint To Pay $7.5 Million To Settle Do-Not-Call Violations

Sprint To Pay $7.5 Million To Settle Do-Not-Call Violations

In the largest settlement yet for violations of Do-Not-Call regulations, Sprint will pay $7.5 million to the FCC to resolve the commission’s investigation into Sprint’s failure to honor consumer requests to opt out of marketing phone calls and texts. [More]

Report: Telemarketers Pocket Nearly 2/3 Of Charity Donations

Report: Telemarketers Pocket Nearly 2/3 Of Charity Donations

While the person who calls you to ask for a charitable donation is probably representing a non-profit organization, that telemarketer may be employed by a for-profit fundraising company hired by the charity. But just how much of what you’re giving ends up going to the charity, and how much goes to line the telemarketer’s pockets? [More]

That Pre-Recorded Voice Isn’t Really A Robot, But She’s Not A Live Telemarketer Either

That Pre-Recorded Voice Isn’t Really A Robot, But She’s Not A Live Telemarketer Either

Remember Samantha West? That was the name of the most definitely recorded voice insisting that she was a real person on a telemarketing call about buying health insurance. And while there probably is no Ms. West sitting by the phone dialing up potential customers, she’s not exactly a robot, either. [More]

Double-Dipping Resale Scammers Targeted Spanish Speakers With Fake Designer Goods

Double-Dipping Resale Scammers Targeted Spanish Speakers With Fake Designer Goods

At the urging of the FTC, a court in California has shut down a telemarketing racket that has a little bit of everything: resale scams, fake designer goods, and illegal legal threats. It’s a scam trifecta! [More]

(D.Michelson)

$11 Million Penalty Apparently Wasn’t Enough To Stop Scammy Telemarketers

Back in 2007-8, the Federal Trade Commission shut down a sketchy telemarketing company called Suntasia Marketing, Inc., for defrauding consumers and charging their bank accounts without consent programs they never enrolled in, like memberships in discount buyer’s and travel clubs. Two of the defendants behind the scam were hit with $11 million settlements and barred from getting involved in these sorts of shenanigans in the future, but that apparently wasn’t sufficient penalty to set them on a righteous path. [More]

(chrismaverick)

It’s Completely Legal To Spoof Phone Numbers

At some point in your life, you’ve probably received a call where the name and/or number that showed up on caller ID was not the actual name/number of the caller. It’s known as spoofing, and many people assume it’s illegal. Those people would be wrong. [More]