We all hate robocallers
We can pretty much all agree the robocalls – in which telemarketers contact your phone with a prerecorded message – are obnoxious. They’re even worse when your number is listed on the Do Not Call Registry, but you receive a robocall anyway.
Robocallers have been a thorn in the craw of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), because they are notoriously difficult to catch.
But recently, the FTC successfully tracked down and prosecuted two major robocallers who had been pestering consumers with prerecorded messages for years.
Do you know the busted parties?
The first, using front names like Data Guru, Tailbone Security, and Prime Marketing, had been using robocalls to sell home security systems since 2012. Their operation was so massive that in one week, they placed more than 1.3 million calls. A full 80 percent of those numbers were registered with the Do Not Call list.
The second company has made billions of robocalls since March 2009, selling automobile warranties and home security systems, and generating leads for other telemarketers. Like the first, this robocaller was also directing most of their calls to numbers on the Do Not Call Registry.
Seven of the defendants in the case have agreed to a settlement, and have been charged with fees of up to $9.9 million.
However, about $510,000 of that number has been suspended because they defendants don’t have enough money to cover the fee.
Strike force, assemble!!!
In October, the Federal Communications Commission assembled an industry-led “Robocall Strike Force” whose intention is to develop technology that would allow callers nationwide to block robocalls, free of charge.
At the meeting, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler thanked the taskforce for their quick response to pressure from lawmakers and consumers, but warned them not to let their responsibilities fall through the cracks, and advised them to be sure that the technology will remain free, and that the cost won’t be passed on to customers.