FTC's 'Operation Call it Quits' cracks down on operations responsible for more than 1B robocalls

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Federal Trade Commission announced Tuesday the latest joint-agency crackdown on telemarketers responsible for more than a billion illegal robocalls.

Operation Call it Quits has already brought 145 cases against 479 companies and 387 individuals responsible for illegal calls.

"Nearly all robocalls are illegal under the FTC telemarketing sales rule, unless you've given your consent in writing to get that call," said Andrew Smith, the director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection

The companies targeted by the massive sweep are using telemarketing calls to pitch everything from fake money making opportunities to medical alert systems.

Jeri Wilds, a Midwest native, almost fell prey to a scam last January, after answering a call from a number she didn't recognize. The scammers offered her a zero interest credit card.

"They give a lot of information. It sounds really good," Wilds said. "I didn't agree to anything at that time, but by the next day they had already started trying to open up credit cards in my name."

A bank fraud alert stopped Wilds from getting scammed.

Experts said robocalls have increased in part because of cheap software that makes mass calls possible.

Last year, the FTC received nearly 3.8 million complaints about telephone scammers, that's more than 10,000 calls a day.

The FTC encourages consumers to use call blocking technology and devices.
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