FTC launches nationwide crackdown on illegal telemarketing and consent farms

ORLANDO, Florida. – The FTC deals with illegal telemarketing calls and so-called consent farms with a joint task force of more than 100 federal and state law enforcement partners, including attorneys general from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Operation Stop Scam Calls was announced Tuesday in Chicago as part of the FTC’s “ongoing efforts to crack down on illegal telemarketing, including robocalls.”

Todd Kossow, director of the FTC’s Midwest regional office in Chicago, told News 6 that large companies are using a combination of gift cards or job offers to get people to sign consent forms to receive telemarketing calls.

“What they’re really doing is gathering information for leads,” Kossow said. “Where you enter your phone number, for example, it says in small print that they are going to sell it by agreeing to robocalls.”

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In one example, a career offer from UPS JOBS requires verification of your date of birth and phone number.

Beneath this information is a statement that reads: “By checking the ‘I agree’ box and clicking ‘Submit’, I understand that I expressly consent to receive calls or text messages from our marketing partners at the landline or mobile number I have provided.”

The FTC has already taken “180 Actions to Target Operations Responsible for Billions of Calls to Consumers in the US.”

Kossow said that anyone who receives a call from the robot should just hang up.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers a one-stop service for consumers looking for information about robocalls, how to stop unwanted calls, and how to avoid phone scams – all at ftc.gov/calls. and in Spanish at ftc.gov/llamadas. The FTC also has a new educational web page, ftc.gov/RobocallScams, with examples of real illegal automated calls using familiar names, as well as steps people can take to avoid robocall scams.

Stay tuned for a special report on auto-call patterns and consent forms next Monday at 6:15 am on News 6.

If you have a consumer or investment problem, please email [email protected] or send a “make ends meet” message along with your problem to 407-676-7428.

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