Do Not Call List Serial Violator Out of Business
Telemarketer Jason Abraham, and his company, Instant Response Systems (IRS), were ordered to pay $3.4 million for a scheme that involved calling elderly consumers and bullying them until they agreed to pay for medical alert systems they didn’t order and didn’t want.
Telemarketing scams are all too common, and scammers are not stopped by the Do Not Call List. This is why our anti-robocall campaign – calling phone companies to make free call blocking tools available to consumers – is necessary.
“Instant Response Systems lied to older people to get them to pay for medical alert systems they didn’t order and didn’t want,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a press release. “Their high-pressure, deceptive phone pitches were illegal, and they violated the do not call rules to boot.”
The action by a federal court in Brooklyn settles a 2013 complaint by the Federal Trade Commission that alleged telemarketers from IRS made repeated, illegal calls to elderly, infirm consumers, many of whom had placed their numbers on the Do Not Call List. As the complaint alleges, IRS placed unsolicited calls to seniors who lived alone and were on fixed incomes. Moreover, the complaint alleged that many targeted were in poor health and relied on others to manage their finances and make financial or health-related decisions for them.
The court order permanently prohibits Jason Abraham and his company from telemarketing medical alerts. That’s a good outcome, but unfortunately unlikely to make a dent in telemarketing scams. Consumers report to us that they get scam robocalls often, sometimes many times a day, even when they have put their number on the Do Not Call List.
It’s time to end robocalls before they reach us. Join with hundreds of thousands of consumers in calling for the phone companies to make free call blocking tools available to consumers. Together, we can end robocalls.