(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]

(Peeping Dragon)

Feds Shut Down Telemarketing Scam Aimed At Elderly

It’s bad enough to call up an elderly person and mislead him or her into paying a pile of cash for a medical alert service they don’t need or want. But what takes one Brooklyn-based telemarketing scheme to the next level was its alleged tendency to bill consumers thousands of dollars for something they never ordered. [More]

(Peeping Dragon Photography)

If Your Company Runs The Do Not Call List, Make Sure The Telemarketing Department Checks It

One might think that if you’re a company that runs both the Do Not Call registry for a country as well as a telemarketing division, the two departments might compare notes once in a while. Because how embarrassing would it be if the company’s telemarketers called people on that Do Not Call list? So embarrassing, and worth a $110,000 fine. [More]

(Peeping Dragon)

FTC Hangs Up On “Rachel From Cardholder Services”

For several years, American consumers have been receiving unwanted robocalls with a recorded message from “Rachel” or one of her fictional co-workers at the vaguely named “Cardholder Services.” Not only are these calls often in violation of do-not-call regulations, they are also a scam to trick people our of their cash. Today, the Federal Trade Commission announced it had pulled the plug on five companies behind these scammy robocalls. [More]

Does Uptick In Telemarketing Complaints Mean "Do-Not-Call" Registry Isn't Really Working?

Does Uptick In Telemarketing Complaints Mean "Do-Not-Call" Registry Isn't Really Working?

Ah, the cherished dinner hour. Peace, quiet and if that stupid telemarketer doesn’t stop calling I am seriously going to throw my fork really violently at something. If that sounds like you, you aren’t alone. Even with the “Do Not Call” registry, there’s been a spike in complaints against telemarketers, especially those pre-recorded phone calls that always seem to come when you don’t want them to. Although, does anyone ever really welcome a telemarketer’s call? Doubt it. [More]

Telemarketer Just Cannot Handle Being Hung Up On Again, Calls Back With Bomb Threat

Telemarketer Just Cannot Handle Being Hung Up On Again, Calls Back With Bomb Threat

We all likely know at least a few people who have endured being a telemarketer, and while it sounds like an awful, horrible no-good very bad gig, hey, it’s a job. But one telemarketer had simply had it up to here with people hanging up on him. And so he did something a bit extreme to express that frustration — he called back and told the homeowner there was a bomb in the house. [More]

If You Give Sears Your Phone Number, They Might Harass You Like A Clingy Stalker

Sears, Sears. We know that you’re desperate. But acting clingy and desperate is no way to win over customers, especially the ones who have just made a purchase in your store. While it seems like every retailer is pushing their service plans on customers, they don’t usually resort to phone stalking, like what you did to your poor customer Mike. He had to resort to contacting the FTC and your corporate offices about the stalking.

It’s over, Sears. You should have taken the hint one of the first few dozen times you called. Now Mike really never wants anything to do with you again.

Woman Sentenced To 15 Years In Jail For Swindling $30 Million In Telemarketing Timeshare Scheme

Woman Sentenced To 15 Years In Jail For Swindling $30 Million In Telemarketing Timeshare Scheme

Telemarketing itself isn’t a crime (more’s the pity) but using that method to cheat 22,000 people out of around $30 million sure is, as one one woman sentenced to 15 years in prison found out recently. [More]