FTC issues record $7.5m fine for calls to U.S. veterans on Do Not Call Registry

A telemarketing company has been hit with a $7.5m fine for repeatedly contacting people on the Do Not Call Registry – the largest civil penalty ever issued in a Do Not Call case.

Representatives from Mortgage Investors Corporation – a refinancer of home loans for veterans – called service members on the Do Not Call list 5.4 million times, as well as failing to remove consumers from its company call list. Company representatives also misstated the terms of loan products during telemarketing calls, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The announcement coincided with the 10th anniversary of the National Cold Call Registry. The FTC says that the settlement is the 105th enforcement action since staff began enforcing provisions in 2004.

“Since the advent of Do Not Call, the FTC has been aggressive in cracking down on violators and preventing annoying, illegal calls to consumers,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez.

“Today’s settlements leave no doubt that DNC enforcement remains a top priority. We’ve also encouraged industry to create a technical solution to unwanted calls through our Robocall Challenge.”

The Challenge offered a $50,000 prize to companies for ideas to combat “robocalls”. The FTC shut down five “Robocall” companies in November 2012, and has conducted 34 cases against such companies, resulting in $51 million in civil penalties.

Automated calls and cold calls are an ongoing problem for consumers – and can be used by scammers. Further ESET stories relating to this issue can be found here.

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