News from FTC (Federal Trade Commission) on Robocalls

By
Real Estate Agent with DFW FINE PROPERTIES 0506509

 

Below are two separate links (for those who want to see the link themselves) and a copy and paste for each link with the latest information on robocalls. I'm glad to know the Federal Trade Commission is working hard to end them. 

 

 

https://www.cnet.com/news/ftc-fines-operations-responsible-for-billions-of-illegal-robocalls/

Text for the link above is as follows: 

FTC shuts down four groups responsible for billions of illegal robocalls

The companies are banned from robocalling and most telemarketing activities.

BY 

MARCH 27, 2019 11:09 AM PDT 

 

Four companies that made billions of illegal robocalls have been caught and fined.

The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday said the agency reached settlements with four operations responsible for billions of illegal robocalls pitching debt-relief services, home security systems, fake charities, auto warranties and Google search results services. The companies were charged with violating the FTC Act, as well as the agency's Telemarketing Sales Rule and its Do Not Call provisions.

"We have brought dozens of cases targeting illegal robocalls, and fighting unwanted calls remains one of our highest priorities," said Andrew Smith, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the FTC, in a release. "We also have great advice on call-blocking services and how to reduce unwanted calls at [our website.]"

The settlements come as the agency focuses on combating illegal robocalls. The four companies, NetDotSolutions, Higher Goals Marketing, Veterans of America and Pointbreak Media, are banned by court orders from robocalling and most telemarketing activities, according to the FTC's release.

Industry analysts in September predicted that nearly half of the mobile phone callswe get this year would be scams. The Federal Communications Commission has been calling on carriers to step up their game in combating robocalls. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai last month said phone companies need to implement robust caller ID authentication systems by the end of this year. If they don't, the FCC will consider "regulatory intervention."

The fines the FTC imposed on the companies and their owners range from $500,000 to over $3 million. Some of the proposed settlements are still waiting for final court approval.

 

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0025-robocalls

(text from this link is copied and pasted below)

 

 

If you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person, it's a robocall.  We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of illegal robocalls because internet-powered phone systems have made it cheap and easy for scammers to make illegal calls from anywhere in the world, and to hide from law enforcement by displaying fake caller ID information.

To date, the FTC has brought more than a hundred lawsuits against over 600 companies and individuals responsible for billions of illegal robocalls and other Do Not Call violations.

The FTC also is leading several initiatives to develop technology-based solutions. Those initiatives include a series of robocall contests that challenge tech gurus to design tools that block robocalls and help investigators track down and stop robocallers. We’re also encouraging industry efforts to combat caller ID spoofing. Here’s the FTC’s game plan to combat robocalls:

  • continue aggressive law enforcement
  • build better tools for investigating robocalls 
  • coordinate with law enforcement, industry, and other stakeholders
  • stimulate and pursue technological solutions.

 

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Rainmaker
2,006,225
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Hannah Williams - The Federal Trade Commission offers suggestions and other good information about robocalls. I'm glad to see they are working hard to shut them down!

Apr 02, 2019 06:11 PM #4
Rainmaker
2,006,225
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Michael Jacobs - I'm guessing for everyone they shut down another pops up. I hope they all get caught and shut down. When they are coming from outside the United States it is a real big challenge. 

Apr 02, 2019 06:12 PM #5
Rainmaker
2,006,225
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Beth Atalay - I hope more get caught and will pay up. That would be one good way to get our country out of debt if money is applied appropriately and not make others like lawyers richer. 

Those robocalls are like a torcher to deal with. 

Apr 02, 2019 06:14 PM #6
Rainmaker
1,428,383
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

This is great news! I was getting so many calls a few months ago; they have quieted down a bit.

Apr 03, 2019 03:34 AM #7
Rainmaker
296,024
Victoria Ray Henderson Marshall Henderson
Buyer's Edge Company Inc - Bethesda, MD
Real Estate for Home Buyers with Buyer's Edge

These robocalls are so annoying particularly for people in our business. I have clients with phone numbers from all over the country so of course, I pick up every call that comes in. Thanks for the FTC update, have a wonderful week!

 

Apr 03, 2019 04:35 AM #8
Rainmaker
3,062,511
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

This is good news, Patricia... and hopefully it will help reduce the massive amount of calls we all seem to get... I've had afternoon where over a dozen robo calls come in. I block and delete, block and delete and new numbers pop up.

Apr 03, 2019 04:43 AM #9
Rainmaker
1,520,992
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Patricia, it's nice to see they're working to stop them but, I have a feeling the robocallers will just keep at it. Such an uphill battle for the FTC. I've been getting anywhere from 5-6 per day. I'm cautiously optimistic!

Apr 03, 2019 05:45 AM #10
Rainmaker
2,520,835
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Sounds like good news, I wish they would all get shut down.  I hate getting them and hang up right away.  Hey, it is getting close to me being in Decatur, we definitely need to get together!

Apr 03, 2019 07:47 AM #11
Rainmaker
2,006,225
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Kat Palmiotti - I noticed it simmered down quite a bit here too. Now if I do get a caller who sounds suspicious and I happen to pick up, I will say, Excuse me, may I have the spelling of your name and phone number to report to the FTC.... you'd be surprised how quickly I hear the caller hang up!

Apr 04, 2019 08:05 AM #12
Rainmaker
2,006,225
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Victoria Ray Henderson Marshall Henderson - Whenever I get those calls, my heart immediately thinks about Seniors who rarely hear from relatives only to be disappointed when they get these robocallers. I think the punishment for those who initiate robocalls should be excessive without mercy. 

Apr 04, 2019 08:07 AM #13
Rainmaker
2,006,225
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Nina Hollander - It is such a disturbance of peace and I consider it to be harassment with abuse and cruelty. I hope they are found out by the FTC and punished severely.  

Apr 04, 2019 08:08 AM #14
Rainmaker
2,006,225
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Amanda S. Davidson - "Cautiously Optimistic!" That's a good phrase! Enough is enough! It's pretty bad when I have to shut off my phone to keep the peace in my head with a focus on business. 

Apr 04, 2019 08:10 AM #15
Rainmaker
2,006,225
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Brian England - I just read your comment now! I'm glad we have set up a plan of action! 

Apr 04, 2019 08:11 AM #16
Ambassador
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

One small step for mankind - hahaha. Seriously, these vultures are not only intrusive, but vindictive and rude. We have been harrassed by them when we tell them they are violating FTC regulations and to take our number off their lists. Let's hope this is the beginning of the eventual end of them all. 

Apr 04, 2019 08:43 AM #17
Rainmaker
2,006,225
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD - I love the first line in your comment!!! 

They ARE vultures and despicable. It is such an invasion of privacy. I always wonder how many unsuspecting seniors are duped by them, especially those who are elderly and alone. Let's hope it is the beginning of the end... and peace to all!

Apr 04, 2019 09:19 AM #18
Ambassador
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Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

I have actually stopped answering my phone unless I know who is calling. I figure a new client will leave a voice message and then I immediately add their information. SO SICK of these robocalls!

BTW, love the profile photo....has been a while since I last saw a photo of you. I haven't been in here much.

Apr 04, 2019 10:27 AM #19
Ambassador
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George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Patricia it was bad enough when I got the robcalls on my land-line answering machine, but now it is OUT RIGHT ANNOYING when I get them on my cellphone.  One sure way to assure I will not do business with someone is if they use a robcall to contact me!!!

Apr 04, 2019 04:46 PM #20
Rainmaker
754,401
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Great information and realtors are so susceptible to this as we believe we need to be available and it could be a potential client calling, so we answer.

Apr 05, 2019 12:42 PM #21
Ambassador
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Oh, I would LOVE it if the FTC shut ALL robo-callers down, Patricia! They drive me nuts. You think it's someone local phoning about one of your properties and SURPRISE - it's a robocall. Arrgh!

Apr 09, 2019 09:58 PM #22
Rainmaker
1,225,034
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Ironic that you write this now, Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP ... as I just read a post on this very topic on Consumer Reports last night.  Is it any wonder that people don't answer their calls???  It's so rare that a call goes straight through these days.

I share the post link here ... but as a Note, there is also a petition included from Consumer Reports.  You can sign the petition to demand free, anti-robocall technology in the future ...  https://www.consumerreports.org/robocalls/mad-about-robocalls/

Hopefully it helps rid of us of a majority of these maddening calls!

Gene

Apr 11, 2019 10:16 AM #23
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