DOJ Files Complaints on Robocall Campaigns: Will it help?
The United States Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have taken action against people and companies that have made illegal robocalls to American consumers. The defendants are accused of violating the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) by making prerecorded marketing calls to people on the National Do Not Call Registry and not identifying themselves truthfully. The calls included "ringless voicemails" that did not make phones ring. The defendants also misrepresented their debt relief services and took payments from customers before helping them. The government is seeking to stop future violations and impose penalties and relief for consumers who were harmed. One defendant has agreed to a court order and penalty. The DOJ and FTC are committed to stopping illegal robocalls and misleading sales tactics that prey on consumers.
The defendants, in this case, are accused of violating two important laws that protect American consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls: the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR). The FTC Act prohibits unfair or deceptive business practices, while the TSR requires telemarketers to follow certain rules when making calls to consumers.
According to the complaint filed by the DOJ and FTC, the defendants used various tactics to make illegal robocalls to consumers, including using "ringless voicemail" technology that allows prerecorded messages to be left in voicemail boxes without ringing the phone. They also allegedly made calls to people who had registered their phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, which is designed to protect consumers from telemarketing calls.
The defendants are accused of misrepresenting their debt relief services and charging customers before providing any meaningful help. This is a common tactic used by fraudulent debt relief companies, who often promise to help people get out of debt but then fail to deliver on those promises. The defendants are also accused of failing to clearly identify themselves as telemarketers and making misleading statements about the terms and outcomes of their services.
The DOJ and FTC are seeking a permanent injunction to prevent future violations by the defendants, as well as monetary penalties and relief for consumers who were harmed by the illegal telemarketing calls. One of the defendants, Kasm, and its owner and director Kenan Azzeh, has agreed to a court order that includes a monetary penalty of $3,380,000 (suspended to $7,500 due to their limited ability to pay) and prohibits them from further violations.
The DOJ and FTC are committed to protecting American consumers from illegal telemarketing practices and will continue to work together to enforce the laws that are in place to protect them.