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Telemarketer Agrees to $3.4 Million FTC Penalty

It's the No. 1 complaint in emails to Rossen Reports: Telemarketers who call day after day, even after you've signed up for the National Do Not Call Registry.
It's the No. 1 complaint in emails to Rossen Reports: Telemarketers who call day after day, even after you've signed up for the National Do Not Call Registry.

Two years ago, Rossen Reports investigated one of the biggest offenders: VMS, a huge telemarketing company accused of making millions of illegal calls. Federal officials were watching the report, and the Federal Trade Commission opened a full-scale investigation into VMS. Now the FTC has ordered a $3.4 million penalty.

"Over a million customers were called who were on the Do Not Call list," FTC official Robert Anguizola said. "In addition to that, VMS employed lead generators who were placing millions of illegal robocalls in trying to assemble its customer list."

One of those customers was Jim Bigham, a stay-at-home dad who was getting calls almost daily, “They’re irritating,” he told Rossen Reports two years ago. “They just won’t stop calling.”

And even more outrageous, “we are on the Do Not Call list,” he said. “It’s not working very well.”

Another customer, Diana Mey of Wheeling, W.V., said VMS called her so many times that she sued them. Then what happened? They called her again, and she taped it.

“Why are you calling me?” she asked the VMS telemarketer on the recording. “I have a class action lawsuit pending against your company for these unwanted calls because my number’s on the National Do Not Call Registry. Can you explain that to me?”

“I’m not exactly sure how that works,” the telemarketer replied on the recording.

The FTC says complaints against telemarketers have been proliferating because of new technologies and cheaper calling rates. They say companies like VMS haven't been doing their due diligence in scrubbing their customer lists of people on the Do Not Call Registry.

Read more: http://www.today.com/news/telemarketer-agrees-3-4-million-ftc-penalty-over-unwanted-calls-2D79710375

To sign up for the Do Not Call Registry: https://www.donotcall.gov/
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