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 Most robocalls are prohibited by law, but scammers and dishonest people continue to send them. And even some legitimate companies violate peoples’ privacy rights with illegal robocalls. Today the FTC announced several victories in the fight against illegal robocalls.
 
In the first victory, the FTC announced that it stopped the operator of a series of sham charities called “Veterans of America.” That operator sent millions of robocalls to donors and collected more than half a million dollars illegally. The robocalls’ message claimed that the organization was a charity and donations were tax deductible. None of that was true. The FTC stopped him in his tracks, and now he can’t send or help others send robocalls anymore. (The FTC’s action challenged practices by Utah resident Travis Deloy Peterson and entities he controlled that used names like Veterans of America and Medal of Honor. The FTC has not taken action against other entities called Veterans of America, Medal of Honor, or similar names.)

In the second victory, the FTC announced that three individual defendants in the case against Point Break Media agreed to a robocall ban, and a ban on helping others send robocalls. All of them were part of a scheme that sent false (and alarming) robocalls to small business owners to get their money.
 
Today’s announcement also includes a double victory in the NetDotSolutions case. Three defendants who provided the autodialers used to place billions of illegal robocalls are now banned from supplying autodialers to telemarketers. In fact, those defendants provided the autodialing technology used by robocallers in at least eight prior FTC cases. They also will pay $1.35 million.

And finally, yet importantly, the FTC got a fourth victory in the Higher Goals Marketing case, where seven defendants agreed to a telemarketing ban. These defendants operated a credit card debt-relief scheme, which they started just weeks after the FTC closed a similar operation in the Life Management Services case, and where several of the defendants had previously worked.
 
The FTC’s work against illegal robocalls continues, and you can help by letting us know when you get an illegal robocall: www.ftc.gov/complaint. Read this article to learn more, or visit ftc.gov/calls.

Note: This post was updated on November 6, 2020

181 Comments


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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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Match
March 26, 2019
I wouldn't be so quick to declare victory. My cell phone continues to be overwhelmed with robocalls! Robocalls that can't be traced, because when you call the number that shows up as theirs, you get a recorded message saying their number does not exist! What is the FTC doing about THAT ???!!! (And don't tell me to sign up for the Do Not Call List. The situation actually got WORSE - AFTER I signed up for the do not call list !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
ADELA ACOSTA-V…
April 01, 2019
Gracias, porque verdaderamente estas personas que llaman constantemente, interrumpen el trabajo, para proponer seguros de vida o salud, para proponer estudios. No dejan trabajar en paz e incluso llaman a altas horas de la noche sin respetar horario ni fecha en el calendario. Acabemos con todos aquellos que nos molestan. Gracias Saludos
Emr
March 26, 2019
Yay! Keep up the good work.
FEDUP19
March 26, 2019

In reply to by Emr

This is AWESOME! Nice work, FTC! Now, the FTC needs to totally rid us of IRS and back brace scams! How are these entities even able to set up shop anyway? Don't they need a valid and registered business license? If not, why not?
CotCan
April 04, 2019

In reply to by Emr

Got One yesterday saying thy we're Bank of America Please Call 302-455-6148 Hooked up teh Number it was Not associated with teh Bank! Even gave a reference Number? I believe third is woh Stammes & defrauded me! Saw a Fake lost Pet ad - i Think all who replied maybe be getting theory Facebook Account hacked & taken over to defrauded theory Payment Act. So Mandy Scanners in Facebook. They set up Fake Merchant accts Business Accounts charging subscriptions Software & ads!! Facebook needs to Ban These Scammer hackers Form Craigslist & Facebook. Lots of Bank fraud! Electronic fraud!
Sincerely
August 23, 2019

In reply to by Emr

So true. I'm beyond tired of them. I can't even answer my own phone anymore because I can't trust it won't be another scam. And if it's a valid call, I won't ever know if they don't leave a message.
dabonz
March 26, 2019
i get them everyday,especially on my landline. I would love not getting them anymore, I have been on the do not call list for years but it doesnt matter
Jorge Riquelme
April 01, 2019
Hay algun sistema de bloqueo de llamadas que ustedes puedan proporcionar, para no recibir este tipo de llamadas, o algun lugar por internet para acusar el recibo de estas llamadas. Gracias Jorge Riquelme
FTC Staff
March 26, 2019

In reply to by dabonz

The Do Not Call Registry prohibits sales calls. Most legitimate companies won't call you if your name is on the Registry.

If your number is on the Registry and a company calls, it's probably a scammer.

Redliner
March 26, 2019

In reply to by FTC Staff

Not true at ALL. I still get a plethora of robocalls from “solicitors” such as roofing contractors, insurance offers, etc. They are LEGITIMATE businesses and call anyway because they KNOW they won’t suffer any consequences. Maybe this will change?
FTC Staff
March 26, 2019

In reply to by Redliner

The Do Not Call Registry prohibits sales calls. Most legitimate companies won't call you if your number is on the Registry. If they do, tell the FTC at www.FTC.gov/DoNotCall.

Even if your number is listed on the Do Not Call Registry, you still may get political calls, charitable calls, debt collection calls, informational calls, and telephone survey calls.

In addition, companies may still call if you recently did business with them, or if you gave them written permission to call you. However, if you ask a company not to call you again, it must honor your request.

RoboCallWall
March 27, 2019

In reply to by FTC Staff

Third party blockers can block all of the above- political calls, charitable calls, debt collection calls, informational calls, telephone survey calls, even those recent businesses if you wish. While many of those may be legal, they can be stopped!
DEADPHONES
August 20, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

ONLY when RACIST trump is Kicked out, will you be able to UNITE the world to end these robo fucktards - and I mean, BLOWING these places to hell - making claims they were ILLEGAL fire work factories - none of those fucking scums belong ALIVE, they have NO SOUL, and they all work for a SCUM knowing that as well.
Nikolai Petrov…
March 26, 2019

In reply to by Redliner

If you're on the Do Not Call list, then, no matter how "legitimate" they sound, they are — at the very least — in violation of the law. Treat them as scammers; they most likely are.
MecutiePie39
March 26, 2019

In reply to by dabonz

every day I get robocalls from people for Medicare~~student loans, Tech service refund~~ and a lot of other things~~I am on the Do Not Call list and it does no good~~I finally got a piece of equipment that connects to my phone and I can block any call that comes in~~it helps but they must have a massive amount of numbers they use as I still get calls everyday from the same people~~it has 5000 robo call numbers programmed into the device but does not include a lot of numbers~~I am damn sick and tired of being bothered with these people period~~it is a never ending battle~~
Lindini
March 27, 2019

In reply to by dabonz

Yes the "do not call list" is a total joke. Some days we receive 4 or 5 robocalls and even tho we've reported we still get them. It's infuriating to dash at breakneck speed when one is expecting a call only to have one of these nuisance callers on the other end of the phone. I say fine them and jail them!
RoboCallWall
March 27, 2019

In reply to by dabonz

The Do Not Call only helps with legitimate companies- these scammers do not care. Get a device for your phone that uses crowd data from the Internet to block the scammers. This is the only way to win the RoboCall fight.
JoS
April 12, 2019

In reply to by dabonz

I am on the do not call registry but it does not help one bit. I get 8 to 10 robocalls per day on my land line and the same on my cell phone...no matter if I block them they still call with a different number....THIS IS DISGUSTING AND RUINING MY PRIVACY....THEY CALL ALL HOURS OF THE DAY AND NIGHT. I CAN NO LONGER ANSWER MY PHONE EVEN THOUGH I NEED MEDICAL INFO CAN'T THESE BE STOPPED????
Joy
August 05, 2019

In reply to by dabonz

The phone company we have has an app that is offered. If our number is dialed a recording comes on and just states hang up if you are a robo caller or solicitor or press 1 and your call will be put through. That of course isn't the exact words. Stops all of the nonsense in its tracks
Esthefany
April 02, 2019
Banorte hace esas llamadas son pregrabadas y amenazan en boquear la tarjeta x un mes de atraso y llamadas reales como 20 al dia , aún dando la explicación x que motivo no sé a efectuado el pago todo el día .
Gerardo Tornero
April 07, 2019
yo ahun recibo llamadas de robocall esta semana resive tres (3) temdre que reportarlas gracias por su informacion.
Momof3Minions
March 26, 2019
What about the continuous extended vehicle warranty?! I get those 5 time a day. I get asked "our records show that you vehicle warranty is about to expire, is that right? " I can say or yell no, and I still get transferred to someone! I can't tell you how many times that I have told them to put me on their do not call list and THEY STILL CALL!!!! I have the Note9 and I have blocked and reported the numbers so many times that it's not funny. I also get a robo call about Amazon looking to hire people on my area.
Arizona Attorney
March 26, 2019
It is great to hear that these scams have been stopped. Unfortunately this scourge of robocalls will continue. Every morning between 8:30 and 9AM local time my phone starts ringing with garbage phone calls about printer cartridges or chronic pain braces. It is very annoying. Pressing nine to be removed does no good, the calls keep coming. FTC - keep up the good work and put more people in jail please.
chiatty
March 26, 2019

In reply to by Arizona Attorney

Pressing the key they asked you to press - for whatever reason - is causing more calls. You just confirmed there's a person who answers.
ChiAtty
March 26, 2019

In reply to by Arizona Attorney

Pressing a requested key means that you will get MORE calls, not be removed. Think about it: would a robocaller care if you want off their list? You have just confirmed that it's a valid number and someone answers it.
Don't use your…
March 27, 2019

In reply to by Arizona Attorney

You're right, Put them in jail and have a telephone ringer in the cell with them. During their entire vacation there they should hear that phone ringer every half hour 24-hours a day, day in day out!
jk36
March 27, 2019

In reply to by Arizona Attorney

DON'T press any number at all - that only confirms you are a live person and you will get even more telemarketing/robo calls. Instead, hang up without answering. Then block that number (even if a phishing/fake number). Get a new phone number helps too.
Yoozernaym
March 28, 2019

In reply to by Arizona Attorney

First of all, never answer calls from numbers you don't recognize. Second, should you mistakenly answer a spam call DO NOT RESPOND IN ANY WAY. In other words do not speak or press anything. Just hang up. Thirdly- perhaps most importantly- immediately block that number in your phone settings. Old phone won't block calls? Add the number to your contacts labeled SPAM. Add every additional spam number that calls you to that contact. Now every time they call your phone's screen will say SPAM.(If you still have a landline, enable call blocking through your provider and use it.) After a month or so the calls dwindle quickly.
Isa
April 08, 2019

In reply to by Arizona Attorney

Ditto! And Affordable Health! They call me about 10 times every day!
Pat
March 26, 2019
Thank you so much for your great work!
Noremac
March 26, 2019
This is all good, how do we stop the ones we are still getting?
Mike2
March 26, 2019
This is great news.
mmck36
March 26, 2019
Congratulation. So happy to hear that some of these robo calls will be stopped now. Still to many out there. Thank you
GranOne
March 26, 2019
THANK YOU, 1. for giving us names of conspirators, THANK YOU, 2. for taking action, THANK YOU. Now, how about dose PHISHING FOR INFORMATION, will you please BLOCK them. Answer me this, why aren't the emails we want to BLOCK...…….BLOCKED? THANK YOU for all your hard work.
Charley
March 26, 2019
I'm very pleased that something is finally being done about all these illegal robocall scams . You close them down though & that many more pop up! Thanks for what you are doing to help.
Mgiffin
March 26, 2019
Great news. This is one of the most irritating things people have to deal with on a daily basis other than the constant bombardment of pop ups and ads. Great work!
rosekitty
March 26, 2019
I hate to say it, but I don't see how agreed robocall bans are victories. Aren't they just agreeing not to do what they already couldn't do legally? Basically saying, "Okay, fine, we promise to follow the law this time"? They should be punished for violating it in the first place! Why are we not seeing massive payments by all, to at least repay the money they obtained illegally and cover the government's costs in pursuing them? (Yes, I did note that one of the four also agreed to pay $1.35 million.)
FTC Staff
March 26, 2019

In reply to by rosekitty

If you click on the links in this blog, you can read more about each case and the related financial judgements.  

MARVELOUS 18
March 26, 2019

In reply to by FTC Staff

How about spending some the robo call penalty money on an app that we can use to stop robo calls
green blue sky
March 27, 2019

In reply to by FTC Staff

What percentage of those financial judgements are actually collected? How long does that take? Why isn't the financial judgement for the amount that the scammers/spammers earned via their robocalls? Why hasn't the FCC & the FTC required every telecommunications corporation to provide FREE blocking mechanisms? Why isn't the fed gov funding development of ways to block robocalls? Prevention is key, otherwise the FTC is just playing whack-a-mole.
Lucy
March 26, 2019
Great to hear! Hopefully this will be a long term solution
Pamarm
March 26, 2019
I just sent a bunch of numbers to report a marketing company that is trying to sell health insurance. I have blocked hundreds of numbers and they keep changing thei state and phones. So far they have used numbers from PA, GA, NC, AL, and other states. Even though I block each time I can, they continue to harass me. I have tried everything to stop them to no avail. I worked for a health insurance agency and stopped calling anyone who requested not to call them. It was emphasized with all our agents to not call DNC numbers. So who are thes marketing groups. Why are they not being fined?
Thomas O'Brien
March 26, 2019
These announcements are laudable, but they prove to me that FTC does not have any real power. I get approximately 20 robocalls every day, about half of which are hangups. The rest are recorded calls, fake charities, or scams. I use NOMOROBO on my landline, and it helps a little - about 8 calls a day. Please work with the FCC and the Congress to do something about robocalls.
bwahawhawhaw
March 26, 2019
This sounds like "catch and release". No jail time? In only one of the four cited cases was there a monetary penalty, and that was probably very much less than what the scammer raked in. And in another, it was even stated that perpetrators caught in a previous scam that was shut down just started up another. These calls won't stop until real consequences are meted out.
FTC Staff
March 26, 2019

In reply to by bwahawhawhaw

If you click on the links in this blog, you can read more about each case and the related financial judgements.

Just tired.
June 25, 2019

In reply to by FTC Staff

Tax them per call. Put it towards real health care. And no political party should be able to touch the money ! It is actually for the people!!!
GaryM
March 26, 2019
Finally. That is great. Waiting for a call from my doc and easily received over ten while trying to screen my calls. The other thing I would like to see is a posting that entides I have to deal with (hosp, insurance, banks...) do not sell my name on marketing lists. Actually motor vehicle here does that as "public information"$$$
Bob Charles
March 26, 2019
While I would like to believe what you are saying, I am getting more robot calls every day.
Booboo
March 26, 2019
I have received 2 robocalls today. I usually get 3-6 a day. What can I do to make them stop?