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In light of the increased complaints, the FTC is stepping up efforts to combat robocalls. It recently released two consumer videos to explain what robocalls are and what to do about them. It also announced an October summit to examine the problem and explore the possibility of emerging technology that might help trace robocalls and prevent scammers from spoofing their caller ID.
Enforcement is another tool. The FTC has brought cases against about a dozen companies since 2009, including Talbots, DirecTV and Dish Network. The cases have yielded $5.6 million in penalties.
To file a complaint with the FTC
Go to www.ftc.gov or call 888-382-1222 to report robocalls
The agency said this month that it was mailing refund checks to more than 4,000 consumers nationwide who were caught up in a scam where the telemarketer used robocalls from names such as "Heather from card services" to pitch worthless credit card rate reduction programs for an up-front fee. Checks to consumers range from $31 to $1,300 depending on how much was lost.
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