Home warranty Telemarketing Solicitations and Deceptive trade


  1. Home Warranty Class Actions: Class actions have been filed against various telemarketers including home warranty companies. The claims allege deception, mistatement of benefits, and solicitations violating the federal Do Not Call Law and state statutes and regulations.
  2. Settlement If you have been a victim of do not call violation or deceptive marketing practices, you may be entitled to compensation. Our office generally handles such claims on a contingency basis (see http://www.contingencylawyernjny.com) with payment for legal fees upon settlement.
  3. Enforcement Action Against Home Warranty Companies: Several state attorney generals have announced an enforcement action against companies for deceptive home warranty coverage emphasizing the need to address deceptive practices in the industry [4].
  4. Do Not Call and TCPA Violations The Telemarketing Sales Rule, as directed by the Telemarketing Act, prohibits deceptive or abusive telemarketing practices. This encompasses practices that mislead or deceive consumers, emphasizing the importance of transparency and honesty in telemarketing interactions [6]. The Competition Act in Canada also addresses deceptive telemarketing to protect consumers and businesses from misleading practices

These legal actions highlight the importance of consumer awareness and regulatory measures to address deceptive practices in the home warranty industry.

🌐 Sources

  1. ftc.gov – Complying with the Telemarketing Sales Rule
  2. ftc.gov – Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act
  3. wikipedia.org – Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act
  4. ised-isde.canada.ca – Deceptive telemarketing
  5. everycrsreport.com – Telemarketing: Dealing with Unwanted Telemarketing Calls
  6. federalregister.gov – Telemarketing Sales Rule


    Call (973) 598-1980 Now for a Free Consultation to discuss compensation for unwanted calls or deception.

Car Warranty Robocalls

1. Overview

Car warranty robocalls violate multiple laws. . They usually start with a recorded message that says something about your vehicle’s manufacturer’s warranty. The message might say that they’ve sent you several notices in the mail. They say you haven’t extended your warranty past the factory cut off, and they’re going to close your file soon if you don’t respond. And, you should press a number if you’re interested in renewing your warranty, or press a different number if you want to be removed from the list. This is an illegal robocall and likely a scam. The companies behind this type of robocall are not with your car dealer or manufacturer, and the “extended warranty” they’re trying to sell you is actually a service contract that often sells for hundreds or thousands of dollars. If you buy it, you may find that the contract doesn’t actually cover any problems you have with your car because of the restrictions in the fine print.

If you receive one of these calls, it’s best to hang up and not engage with the company that reaches you with an illegal call. You can also consider using an app or device to block unwanted calls 1If you want to report the robocall, visit DoNotCall.gov .

2. Compensation

Our office has secured more than $100,000 in settlements for unlawful car warranty robocalls
If you ordered the policy or can establish what company made or authorized the call, we can file a claim. We work on contingency meaning no payment is needed.


Understanding the FTC’s Battle to Protect Older Adults from Scams

In the digital age, scams targeting older adults have become alarmingly prevalent. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been on the frontline, striving to safeguard older consumers from fraudulent schemes. Their recently issued report to Congress provides a comprehensive overview of the current landscape, highlighting key trends, law enforcement actions, rulemaking efforts, and outreach programs. This report, titled “Protecting Older Consumers, 2022-2023,” uncovers some disturbing facts and makes a compelling case for enhanced measures to combat fraud aimed at older Americans.

A Staggering $1.6 Billion in Losses

In 2022, older adults reported losses exceeding $1.6 billion due to scams. However, this amount is just the tip of the iceberg, as most frauds go unreported. The FTC estimates that older adults may have lost as much as $48 billion. This enormous figure underscores the urgent need for stronger protective measures.

Rising Losses in Specific Scam Categories

The report reveals significant increases in losses from various scam categories:

  • Investment scams: Losses amounted to $404 million, a staggering 175% rise from the previous year.
  • Business impersonation scams: Reported losses reached $271 million, showing a 78% increase.
  • Tech support scams: Losses escalated to $159 million, marking a 117% surge from 2021.

Age Disparities in Reporting and Losses

While older adults are substantially less likely to report falling victim to scams, those who do report losses tend to be significantly higher than younger adults. For instance, consumers aged 80 and above reported a median loss of $1,750 to fraud, while those in their seventies reported a median loss of $1,000. These numbers have increased from the previous year, reflecting the severity of the issue.

Online Fraud vs. Phone Call Scams

The report emphasizes the shift in scam methods. Older adults reported the largest number of online frauds, often originating from social media or online ads. However, the largest median losses resulted from scams initiated through phone calls. Furthermore, scams initiated via social media saw a significant rise in median reported losses, increasing from $460 in 2021 to $800 in 2022.

FTC’s Vigilant Efforts

In response to the Supreme Court’s AMG Capital decision, the FTC is taking specific actions to protect older consumers. Proposed rulemaking on government and business impersonation aims to provide additional tools for seeking refunds for consumers affected by these scams.

The report also highlights several impactful enforcement actions against companies involved in fraudulent activities, including cases against Publishers Clearing House, robocallers, and companies making baseless claims about COVID treatments.

Educating and Empowering Older Adults

The FTC has launched outreach and education programs, like the “Pass it On” campaign, which equips older adults with the knowledge and resources to protect themselves and their communities. These initiatives aim to prevent scams and empower older Americans to become advocates against fraud.

Conclusion

As the FTC continues its dedicated efforts to protect older adults from scams, we are here to provide valuable assistance. If you or a loved one has fallen victim to fraudulent schemes or Do Not Call list violations, don’t hesitate to take action.

Contact our law firm for a free consultation to discuss your situation. Our experienced team is ready to guide you through the legal aspects of consumer protection. Your peace of mind is our priority, and we are committed to helping you safeguard your rights.

Don’t delay; reach out to us today to ensure you’re equipped with the knowledge and support you need to protect yourself and your community.

Source: FTC Issues Annual Report to Congress on Agency’s Actions to Protect Older Adults | FTC

FCC Accelerates Fight Against Illegal Robocalls: One Owl Telecom Faces Tough Action

In the ongoing battle against illegal robocalls, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has ramped up its efforts, targeting One Owl Telecom, a voice service provider that has allegedly violated FCC call blocking rules. The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau is taking stern measures to combat these illegal robocalls, and their recent actions are a significant step towards this goal.

Why the FCC is Cracking Down

One Owl Telecom is suspected of serving as a gateway provider for international robocalls, inundating consumers with unauthorized prerecorded messages. These messages often falsely claimed to be from “ACM Trading LLC” and requested consumers to confirm fictitious orders. The Industry Traceback Group traced these calls to overseas origins, with One Owl acting as either the initiator or gateway provider.

Notably, One Owl Telecom is closely related to two other entities: Illum Telecommunication Limited and One Eye LLC. These entities share personnel, IP addresses, and customers and have displayed a disregard for FCC rules. The Enforcement Bureau will continue to monitor One Owl Telecom and its affiliated entities closely.

The FCC’s Stance

Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel is resolute in her commitment to eradicate illegal robocalls, and she emphasizes the importance of eliminating these scams. The FCC’s strong rules require gateway providers involved in international illegal robocalls to actively participate in the fight against scam robocalls.

What’s Happening Now

The Enforcement Bureau has issued an initial determination order against One Owl Telecom, signaling the possibility of mandatory blocking from other providers. This fate is similar to what its predecessor entity, One Eye, faced. If One Owl Telecom does not respond promptly and take action against illegal robocalls, the FCC will direct downstream providers to block all traffic from this entity.

Background and Enforcement

The Enforcement Bureau has issued a K4 Notice, notifying U.S.-based voice service providers about significant volumes of unlawful robocalls linked to One Owl Telecom. A cease-and-desist letter was also sent to One Owl, demanding that they investigate and block the suspected illegal traffic while reporting the results to the FCC. Unfortunately, One Owl has not responded, and the FCC is unaware of any efforts taken by the company to address the issue.

Previous actions have been taken against entities closely related to One Owl Telecom, including cease-and-desist letters and compliance orders. The FCC has strengthened its defense mechanisms against gateway providers through the Gateway Provider Order, increasing their obligations to monitor their networks and imposing consequences on providers that fail to do so.

The Bigger Picture

Chairwoman Rosenworcel established the FCC’s Robocall Response Team to combat the menace of illegal robocalls effectively. The team harnesses expertise from various departments to address this issue comprehensively.

Getting Results

The FCC has been actively combating illegal robocalls by blocking active scam campaigns, imposing hefty fines on violators, and closing gateways used by international robocallers to reach American phones. They’ve also pushed for the widespread implementation of STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication standards and worked with industry partners to trace illegal calls to their source. Furthermore, they’ve initiated partnerships with states and international entities to investigate robocalls effectively.

The fight against illegal robocalls continues, and the FCC remains committed to protecting consumers from these scams.

Stay updated on the latest developments in the battle against illegal robocalls. If you have concerns about robocalls or need legal assistance, don’t hesitate to contact our law office for guidance.

Source: FCC ACCELERATES ITS ILLEGAL ROBOCALL BLOCKING EFFORTS AGAINST GATEWAY PROVIDER | FCC

Illinois Attorney General Cracks Down on Deceptive Electric Supplier: Residents Energy Faces $15 Million Lawsuit

Illinois residents may have been swindled out of $15 million due to allegedly deceptive tactics by alternative electric supplier Residents Energy, according to a 50-page complaint filed on September 29. The lawsuit, announced by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office, accuses the company of engaging in deceptive practices, potentially causing some customers’ energy costs to triple.

The complaint alleges that Residents Energy’s sales force promised customers “historically low” first-month rates without adequately disclosing that these were temporary deals. Some recorded phone calls reveal salespeople claiming that their rates were consistently lower than those of the utility company. However, the suit asserts that, on average, the company’s rates were nearly double those offered by ComEd in 2020.

From 2018 to 2020, the complaint alleges that Residents Energy customers paid 55% more than they would have with the public utility company. The state also accuses the company of violating Illinois’ Telephone Solicitations Act by providing third-party salespeople with a script that fails to promptly state the purpose of the call. Instead, the script reportedly begins with a rebate offer and can mislead customers into thinking they are affiliated with the public utility.

Additionally, salespeople allegedly told falsehoods during recorded phone calls, including discussing rebates through a non-existent program called the “Illinois Energy Choice Program.” Some customers were misled into believing that the public utility company charged them every time they opened their fridge.

The state’s complaint also references numerous complaints filed by residents with the Illinois Commerce Commission. These complaints claim that they weren’t informed when their bills increased by more than 20% from one month to the next, which is illegal in Illinois. Some residents also alleged that they were enrolled in Residents Energy programs without their consent through manipulated audio recordings, which the state characterizes as a “widespread company practice.”

Residents Energy LLC, headquartered in New York, has been operating in Illinois since 2016 and is active in nine other states, including Indiana and Michigan.

The company faces 12 charges in total from Illinois, each carrying a potential $50,000 penalty, which doubles if the violation affects someone with a disability or who is 60 years or older.

Illinois is also seeking an injunction to halt the company’s business practices during the litigation. The state aims to provide relief to those who were deceived by the company and cover investigation costs. A hearing is scheduled for January 30, 2024.

Residents Energy LLC was sued last year by an Elmhurst man who received numerous unsolicited calls soliciting energy services, even after registering his phone on the National Do Not Call Registry. The suit also alleged the use of illegal “automatic telephone dialing systems” and automated voice systems. The plaintiff sought $1,500 per call, among other damages.

Deceptive practices by energy suppliers can affect residents nationwide. If you believe you’ve been a victim of such tactics, it’s crucial to take action. Document your experiences, seek guidance from consumer protection agencies, and stay informed about legal actions against these companies.

For personalized advice and a free consultation, don’t hesitate to call our law office. We’re here to help you understand your rights and explore potential legal remedies. By standing up against deceptive practices, you not only protect your rights but also contribute to a fair marketplace for everyone. Don’t let deceptive energy suppliers go unchecked—take action today by contacting our team.

Source: Illinois sues alternative electric supplier for ‘deceptive’ tactics that may have cost residents $15 million | Chicago Sun Times

Cracking Down on Telemarketers: New York’s Tougher Measures

If you’re tired of relentless telemarketing calls, you’ll be pleased to know that New York is taking strong action to protect its residents. Governor Kathy Hochul has signed legislation (A4456/S4617) that significantly increases the penalties for telemarketers who violate the Do Not Call Registry.

Doubled Penalties for Unwanted Calls

The legislation, known as A4456/S4617, amends New York’s general business law to raise the maximum fine for telemarketers violating the Do Not Call Registry from $11,000 to $20,000. This substantial increase in penalties sends a clear message to telemarketers that New York won’t tolerate intrusive and annoying calls.

These stricter rules are part of a broader effort to safeguard New Yorkers from continuous, unwanted calls. In December 2022, Governor Hochul signed a law requiring telemarketers to offer customers the option to be added to the company’s do-not-call list at the beginning of certain calls. This change aimed to prevent telemarketers from waiting until the end of calls to provide this option, a practice that often led to repeated calls to the same numbers.

Protecting New Yorkers

These measures reflect New York’s commitment to protecting its residents from the nuisance of unwanted calls. Governor Hochul stated, “Today, we’re raising the penalty for violators of the Do Not Call Registry to deter telemarketers, protect New Yorkers, and send a clear message that New York won’t tolerate these frustrating, unsolicited calls.”

The increased penalties for telemarketers are effective immediately, showing the state’s determination to address this issue promptly.

Your Rights and Options

If you’re fed up with robocalls and unwanted telemarketing calls, you have rights, and there are steps you can take. Our law office is here to help you understand your rights and explore your options. We offer a free consultation to discuss your situation and determine the best way to stop these disruptive calls.

You don’t have to endure this nuisance. Together, we can take action to make your phone experience more peaceful. Reach out to us today, and let’s put an end to those annoying robocalls for good. Remember, you’re not alone – we’re here to support you.

Sources:

  • Governor Hochul Signs Legislation to Crack Down on Telemarketers | GOVERNOR
  • Crackdown on New York Telemarketing Continues | Lexology

New Rules to Stop Annoying Robocalls: Why This Matters

Robocalls can be annoying and disruptive, we know how much. We’ve seen a surge in these unwanted calls in recent years, and it’s a widespread issue affecting many people like you. The good news is that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken some important steps this week to address this problem. Let me break it down for you.

What’s the FCC?

The FCC, or Federal Communications Commission, is a government agency responsible for regulating things like phone services and communications in the United States. They’ve noticed that robocalls have become a big problem, and they’re working to fix it.

What’s a Robocall?

Robocalls are those automated calls you receive on your phone. They can be about anything – from scams to telemarketing calls that you didn’t ask for. They’re usually annoying and sometimes even illegal.

The FCC’s New Rules

The FCC has made some new rules to make it tougher for the people who make these annoying robocalls. They’ve focused on a group of companies called VoIP providers, which are often used by robocallers. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. These providers make it easy for people to make these calls, which is a big part of the problem.

What the New Rules Mean

Now, thanks to these new rules, VoIP providers have to do a few things before they can use US phone numbers for robocalls.

1. Certifications: They have to promise they won’t use their services for illegal robocalls. This is like them saying, “We won’t let bad guys use our stuff to make those annoying calls.”

2. Ownership Info: They need to tell the FCC who owns the company and if there are any foreign owners. This is to make sure no one outside the country can use US numbers for bad calls.

3. Follow the Rules: VoIP providers also have to follow other rules that the FCC has made to stop robocalls. It’s like making sure they play by the rules.

Why This Matters

These new rules are good news for you because they make it harder for robocallers to keep bothering you. Before, it was too easy for these bad actors to use VoIP technology for their robocalls. Now, they’ll have a tougher time.

What You Can Do

If you’re still getting a lot of robocalls, you’re not alone. These calls can be really annoying, and sometimes they’re even scams. You can help by reporting these calls to the FCC or your phone company.

Get in Touch

If you’re fed up with robocalls and want to explore your options or understand your rights better, our law office is here to help. We offer a free consultation to discuss your situation and figure out the best way to stop these calls from disrupting your life. You don’t have to put up with this nuisance – let’s take action together.

Remember, you’re not alone in this, and there are steps we can take to make your phone experience more peaceful. Get in touch with us today, and we’ll work on putting an end to those annoying robocalls for good.

Sources:

  • FCC Updates Rules to Curb Robocallers’ Access To Phone Numbers | FCC
  • FCC closing loophole that gave robocallers easy access to US phone numbers | Ars Technica

When FCC Complaints Echo: Scam Calls, Super Bowl Surprises, and More in Evansville

In an age of technological marvels, the symphony of our interconnected world sometimes hits a few off-notes. Over the past five years, Evansville residents have sounded off to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), sharing a diverse tapestry of grievances. From scam calls that send shivers down your spine to Super Bowl controversies that turn heads, here’s an in-depth look at the eclectic concerns that have found their way to the FCC’s inbox.

Scam Calls: The Perpetual Plague on the Line

Picture this: your phone rings, and it’s your own number flashing on the caller ID. It’s a classic case of “spoofing,” a tactic scammers use to manipulate caller IDs, often inducing gasp-inducing moments like, “I just received a phone call from my own cell phone number.” These manipulative tactics sometimes escalate into menacing situations, such as callers threatening harm, or worse.

Commercials: The Volume Wars

Televisions aren’t exempt from the fray. A significant number of complaints targeted the volume of commercials. It’s the classic scenario of turning up the volume to hear your favorite show, only to be met with a barrage of eardrum-shattering ads. For some, this irritation translated into genuine issues, even causing distress to children with autism.

2020 Election and COVID-19: A Quiet Contemplation

Oddly, while the 2020 presidential election and the COVID-19 pandemic dominated headlines worldwide, they made only modest appearances in Evansville’s FCC complaints. Some questioned media coverage’s accuracy and its potential to incite unrest, but the bulk of grievances steered clear of these global events.

Super Bowl’s Unconventional Halftime Show

In 2020, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s Super Bowl halftime performance captivated viewers worldwide. Yet, a few residents in Evansville had a different take. They deemed it “indecent” and “pornographic,” although one critique managed to turn heads for its unconventional twist.

Ham Radios: The Unusual Intrusion

The world of amateur radio, a beloved hobby for many, took a detour into the bizarre. Residents reported unsanctioned music and profanity-laden airwaves. However, some faced more peculiar dilemmas, like lights in China cabinets flickering to the rhythm of a neighbor’s ham radio transmissions. Others encountered an even more intrusive problem: their neighbor’s supposedly “private” radio conversations unwittingly broadcast through their home computer speakers.

The Do-Not-Call List Dilemma

Many residents found themselves pondering the effectiveness of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) do-not-call list. Despite their best intentions, the list seemed powerless against the relentless assault of scam calls. As the FTC itself acknowledges, the registry can’t thwart determined scammers who brazenly ignore it.

In a world where technology unites us, yet teases us with vexing challenges, the FCC strives to address these modern communication conundrums. For Evansville’s residents and those beyond, the battle against the ever-evolving landscape of communication woes continues.

Ready to Silence the Noise? Seek Legal Guidance!

Is your phone’s ringing becoming a constant source of annoyance? Are you tired of scam calls disrupting your peace? Reach out to us today for a free consultation. Let our experienced legal team guide you through the challenges of modern communication and explore ways to bring tranquility back to your communication channels. Together, we can tackle the modern challenges of staying connected in a tech-driven world.

Source: Scam calls and the Super Bowl: Here are Evansville residents’ complaints to the FCC | Yahoo News

Can a Minor Provide Consent for TCPA Calls?

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and Its Implications for Parents

The world of technology and communication has dramatically changed the way we interact with the world, but it has also brought with it new challenges, especially in terms of privacy and unwanted solicitation. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was introduced to address these concerns and protect individuals from unsolicited calls and text messages. However, a recent case has raised an important question: can a minor provide consent for TCPA calls?

The Case of Kristen Hall

Kristen Hall found herself in the midst of this question when she received five unsolicited text messages from Smosh Dot Com and parent company Mythical Entertainment. What made this case unique was that Kristen had placed her cellphone number on the National Do Not Call Registry, and these messages were not for her but for her 13-year-old son.

When she decided to take legal action against the companies, they argued that Kristen lacked standing because she wasn’t the actual user of the phone, nor was she the recipient of the texts.

The Legal Battle

The case reached the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the decision was groundbreaking. The court ruled that the owner and subscriber of a phone number listed on the Do Not Call Registry has indeed suffered a concrete injury, even if the messages were intended for someone else. This decision was based on the premise that a violation of the TCPA constitutes a concrete injury.

A Broad View of Article III Standing

The Ninth Circuit’s view of Article III standing is expansive, emphasizing that the owner and subscriber of the phone number listed on the Do Not Call Registry have the right to bring suit. The court argued that requiring a heightened level of phone use as a prerequisite for standing contradicts the TCPA’s purpose, which is to protect individuals from unwanted communications.

The court also highlighted that standing is not exclusive; the primary or customary user of a phone may suffer a concrete injury, but this does not preclude the phone’s owner and subscriber from experiencing the same.

What This Means for Parents

This case raises important considerations for parents. In an age where children have access to cellphones and the internet, parents may find themselves facing unsolicited communications on behalf of their children. The Ninth Circuit’s decision suggests that parents can take legal action to protect their family’s privacy and well-being under the TCPA, even if the calls or messages were intended for their children.

Ready to Protect Your Rights Under the TCPA?

If you or your family have experienced unsolicited calls or text messages, we’re here to help. Don’t let your privacy be compromised. Our experienced legal team specializes in TCPA cases, and we’re offering a free consultation to discuss your situation.

Your privacy matters. Let us help you enforce your rights under the TCPA and safeguard your family from unwanted communications.

Source: Can a Minor Provide Consent for TCPA Calls? | JDSUPRA

Exposed: How ‘Consent Farms’ Flood Your Phone with Robocalls with One Click

Robocalls, those persistent and intrusive calls that disrupt our daily lives, have been a bane for Americans for decades. While regulatory crackdowns have made some headway in curbing their proliferation, a new threat has emerged: ‘consent farms.’ These clandestine operations are taking advantage of unsuspecting individuals, making them unwitting victims of spam calls, even if they are on the Do Not Call list.

In this article, we delve into the alarming rise of ‘consent farms,’ how they operate, and most importantly, how you can protect yourself from becoming a target.

The Deceptive World of Robocalls

Most of us are familiar with robocalls pitching everything from debt consolidation to Medicare assistance, auto warranties, and student loan relief. These calls are not just annoying; they often lead to people paying for services they neither want nor need. Despite the widespread hatred for these calls, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that the Do Not Call list has over 246 million phone numbers on it, nearly equal to the entire adult population of the United States.

In response to this, regulatory bodies like the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have made efforts to combat these spam calls. Caller ID spoofing prevention standards have been implemented, resulting in a decrease in the number of illegal calls, particularly from offshore call centers targeting American consumers. The FTC has also been active in investigating spam-calling networks, filing lawsuits, and imposing substantial fines.

The Rise of ‘Consent Farms’

However, as regulators clamp down on traditional robocalls, spam callers are evolving. Some telecom providers have found a way to maintain access to US networks by exploiting a seemingly foolproof strategy: obtaining spurious “consents” from websites that deceive users into agreeing to be contacted by telemarketers, even if their number is on the Do Not Call list.

These deceitful websites, known as ‘consent farms,’ often present themselves as job-search or comparison-shopping platforms. They lure users in with promises of freebies, gift cards, or job opportunities in exchange for personal information.

The catch? Critical details are hidden in the fine print or omitted altogether. Job listings might be expired, or you may need to spend money to claim a promised gift card. The real kicker is that by innocently clicking a button that seems to contain nothing more than legal jargon, you’ve unwittingly agreed to receive calls and texts from a myriad of spammy businesses.

Fighting Back Against Consent Farms

The fight against ‘consent farms’ is not an easy one. Many individuals, like Kelly Pinn, have found themselves inundated with spam calls. Unlike most, Pinn decided to take legal action against those responsible. Her case is a perfect example of how ‘consent farms’ operate.

Pinn received multiple spam calls, including one offering debt relief, despite being on the Do Not Call list. Her lawyer has been vigorously pursuing those responsible. In Pinn’s case, it was claimed that she consented to calls by filling out a form on HealthInstantly.org, a website connected to a person named Chad Smanjak, who had links to a massive student-loan robocalling operation. The website featured a lengthy disclosure paragraph with a link to a list of around 5,400 “marketing partners” and a “Compare Quotes” button.

The lawyer asserts that Pinn never gave consent for any of these companies to contact her, and he’s still in the process of identifying who’s truly at fault. These deceptive practices have rightfully caused outrage among consumers and legal experts alike. ‘Consent farms’ are not just an invasion of privacy; they are fraudulent enterprises that profit from deceit.

The Regulatory Battle

Regulators, including the FTC, refer to websites like HealthInstantly.org as ‘consent farms.’ The FCC, in particular, has been critical of such operations. Urth Access, an Austin-based company that made illegal robocalls, claimed to have gained consent through health insurance websites using the same “marketing partners” link buried in a boilerplate disclosure. The FCC deemed this practice insufficient to demonstrate consent and challenged the authenticity of such claims.

Consent farms essentially function as intermediaries in a two-sided market. On one side are affiliate marketers who drive traffic to these websites, and on the other are buyers—some legitimate, some not—who pay for leads. Fluent, Inc., a publicly traded company, recently settled an FTC case for $2.5 million, acknowledging its role in misleading users. The FTC alleged that a substantial portion of Fluent’s revenue in 2018 and 2019 came from selling consents.

Hope on the Horizon

Despite the challenges, there is hope that consent farming, and the spam it fuels, can be dismantled. Rigorous regulation and enforcement led to a significant reduction in auto warranty robocalls when the FTC imposed a $300 million fine on the major culprits. Spam related to student loans also declined, and overall robocalls have decreased by approximately 40% over the past year. However, Americans still received a staggering 5 billion robocalls and 11.8 billion spam texts in July alone.

The persistence of these annoying calls and texts highlights the ongoing battle against spam. Scammers constantly adapt and devise new schemes, such as consent farming, to evade regulatory measures.

Protecting Yourself from Robocall Deception

So, what can you do to protect yourself from falling victim to robocall deception? Here are some actionable steps:

  1. Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated on the latest developments in robocall scams and tactics.
  2. Read the Fine Print: Always scrutinize the terms and conditions before providing your information on any website.
  3. Block Suspected Numbers: If you receive a suspicious call, block the number immediately.
  4. Report Violations: If you believe your rights have been violated, report the incident to the FTC and your phone service provider.
  5. Use Call Screening Services: Explore call screening apps and services that can help filter out unwanted calls.
  6. Consider Legal Action: If you’ve suffered due to robocall deception, consult with a legal expert to explore your options.

Robocall deception is a pervasive issue, but with awareness, vigilance, and the right measures, you can protect yourself from falling prey to these unscrupulous tactics. Remember that you have rights, and there are legal professionals dedicated to combating robocall abuse.

Ready to Put an End to Robocall Deception?

If you’ve been a victim of robocall deception or want to ensure you’re protected from these invasive practices, we’re here to help. Our experienced legal team specializes in consumer rights and privacy protection.

Take Action Today! Schedule a FREE Consultation

During this consultation, we’ll:

  1. Assess Your Situation: Understand your specific experience with robocalls and consent farms.
  2. Explain Your Rights: Clarify your legal rights and how they apply to your case.
  3. Discuss Potential Remedies: Explore possible legal actions to seek justice and compensation.

Don’t let robocall deception disrupt your life. Take the first step towards reclaiming your privacy by calling us for free consultation today. Put an end to unwanted spam calls and protect your rights. We’re here to fight for you!

Source: How ‘consent farms’ turn one click on a website into an open invitation for spammers to blow up your phone with robocalls | INSIDER

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