Two robocall marketing companies fined $9.9 million
Justin Ramsey and Aaron Michael Jones, who ran multiple telemarketing companies, have just settled with the FTC for more than $500,000. The individuals have agreed to never make another robocall, make a call to a number that is on the Do Not Call Registry, violate the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), or help any other person in doing any of these things.
Mr. Ramsey and Mr. Jones led various robocall operations starting in 2012. In the Ramsey complaint, the FTC charges that Mr. Ramsey ran illegal robocall companies across the United States trying to generate leads for home security companies, calling more than one million people in one week, 80% of which were on the DNC registry. Another company under Mr. Ramsey’s control placed nearly one million calls in just two months of 2016 to numbers on the DNC registry.
In the case of Mr. Jones, the FTC charges ten corporations and nine individuals with illegal robocall operations centered around extended auto warranties, home security systems, and SEO services. The individuals and companies were able to make billions of calls, including to many numbers on the DNC list.
The defendants in both complaints have settled with the FTC for $510,000 due to their inability to pay. The original judgement due was $9.9 million. The FTC did note that if the defendants were discovered to have misrepresented their financial situation, they would owe the full amount.
Robocalls are a growing issue for the FCC which launched the Robocall strike force in August 2016 to combat this problem. The strike force, which includes all the major telephone companies, has developed a new technology, called SHAKEN, that will prevent robocallers from using fake calling numbers and avoiding detection. The technology is expected to be deployed in telephone networks in 2018.