BREAKING NEWS

Missouri AG and Group of Local, State, and Federal Agencies Partner with FTC for New Crackdown on Illegal Robocalls


Jun 25, 2019, 12:43 PM
DateTime:
Jun 25, 2019, 12:41 PM

Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Schmitt, along with a multitude of state Attorneys General, and local, state, and federal agencies, announced a partnership to crack down on illegal robocalls. Among all participants in the joint crackdown, called “Operation Call it Quits,” 94 actions have been taken targeting operations around the country responsible for more than one billion calls pitching a variety of products and services, including credit card interest rate reduction services, money-making opportunities, and medical alert systems.

“Operation Call it Quits” is part of the Commission’s ongoing effort to help stem the tide of universally loathed pre-recorded telemarketing calls. It also includes new information to help educate consumers about illegal robocalls. In addition, the FTC continues to promote the development of technology-based solutions to block robocalls and combat caller ID spoofing.

On March 5, 2019, Attorney General General Schmitt filed a lawsuit against four Florida-based businesses for violations of Missouri’s No-Call List. The lawsuit alleges that Health Advisors of America, Duff Insurance Brokerage, America’s Best Insurance Group, and Michael T. Smith Insurance violated Missouri law by making robocalls offering health insurance to Missouri residents who were on the Missouri No-Call List. The Missouri Attorney General’s Office received 262 complaints statewide about the Defendants’ practices.

The Missouri Attorney General’s Office will promote educational materials provided by the FTC in the coming days and weeks, and urges Missouri consumers to report illegal robocalls to the Missouri No-Call List by calling 866-BUZZOFF (866-289-9633) or filing a complaint online at: https://ago.mo.gov/app/nocallcomplaint

“Robocalls aren’t just annoying and incessant, they can often lead to Missouri residents falling victims to scams or fraud,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “I’m glad that one of the top priorities of the Federal Trade Commission is combating illegal robocalls in Missouri and across the country, and I look forward to continuing to work with our federal partners to educate consumers about robocalls, come up with new solutions to combat these robocalls, and hold those responsible for illegal robocalls accountable.”

“We’re all fed up with the tens of billions of illegal robocalls we get every year,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Today’s joint effort shows that combatting this scourge remains a top priority for law enforcement agencies around the nation.”

In addition to the lawsuit filed against the Florida-based companies by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, 25 federal, state, and local agencies have brought 87 enforcement actions as part of the initiative. State partners announcing enforcement today include the Attorneys General Offices for Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia; the Consumer Protection Divisions of the District Attorneys for the Counties of Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, and Santa Clara, California; the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; and the Los Angeles City Attorney. In addition, the United States Attorneys’ Offices for the Northern District of Georgia, Middle District of Florida, and Southern District of Texas, with support from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, have contributed five criminal actions.

The FTC today announced enforcement actions related to illegal robocalls against First Choice Horizon LLC., 8 Figure Dream Lifestyle, Derek Jason Bartoli, and Media Mix 365. They also announced the settlement of previous cases against Lifewatch Inc., Redwood Scientific, and Life Management Services. Descriptions of those cases can be found here.