FTC, Indiana AG Announce Crackdown On Robocalls 

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 10:02am

By Mike Perleberg and Madelaine Braggs, 24/7 News Source

State and federal agencies are pursuing over 90 new enforcement actions against companies behind at least one billion robocalls. 

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill speaks at a press conference announcing Operation Call It Quits, a federal and state crackdown on robocallers. Photo provided.

(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill is joining federal regulators to help crack down on robocalls. 

He said telemarketers need to be held responsible. 

“We will never stem the tide of illegal robocalling until we prove we have the resolve and the wherewithal to make offenders pay,” said Hill.

The Federal Trade Commission is calling the effort with local law enforcement "Operation Call It Quits."  Agencies are pursuing over 90 new enforcement actions against companies behind at least one billion robocalls. 

The FTC has brought 145 cases against nearly 500 companies and nearly 400 individuals responsible for illegal calls. Officials say it's a step in the right direction, but because many of these offenders are overseas, they're expecting some difficulties. 

Hill’s office has recently sued a Maryland company and two individuals after receiving dozens of complaints. Doing business as American Health Service, Anthony and Michael Valenti persistently robocalled Hoosiers from Maryland-based phone numbers to pitch various insurance products.

The Indiana AG says the men and their company violated three state statutes. They could be ordered to pay $1.17 million in civil penalties, costs and fees.

“These are the kinds of actions we must continue to take against violators of laws intended to protect consumers,” said Hill.

FTC Director of Consumer Protections Andrew Smith asked the public to report any robocall numbers at the FTC website. 

“The more data that we receive about the call, the better we can target our law enforcement efforts,” said Smith.

The FTC does have a recommendation to avoid being on more robocall lists: it's best to not speak or press any buttons before hanging up on a pre-recording. 

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