Do Not Call List Serial Violator Out of Business

Christina Tetreault
Staff Attorney

Friday, April 24th, 2015
robocalls

 

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.

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37 responses to “Do Not Call List Serial Violator Out of Business”

  1. I am a 75 year old Senior living alone and this happens all too often to me. I happily sign this petition. It seems everywhere you turn these days there are rip-off scams. ADVERTISING OVERLOAD~ I get revenge by making a note of who they are and then BOYCOTT THEM! Diabetes suppliers are the worst!

  2. What is especially annoying is that most robocallers choose to interrupt family mealtimes to market products we are not in the market for.

  3. Dawn Ronski says:

    Just another abuse of a consumers credit and privacy. We block them they find another number. The calls do not accomplish anything.

  4. Barb Dee says:

    Please STOP Rachel from Cardholder Services!!! I get calls at least 3 times a week from this witch! Each time I block the number a new number is used, including my own name and number now!

  5. Wilfredo Cruz says:

    Collection agencies call you even when you tell them that you want the calls to stop and be contacted by mail. You can’t ask an industry to follow rules you have to force them.

  6. Sara Lea Udovick says:

    No more medical alerts, no more your credit card … etc. I hang up but it just means they’ll call back. Enough!!!

  7. MBeachler says:

    We even get them on Sundays No more please

  8. JT Titus says:

    I hate telemarketing calls of any kind, not just the ones regarding medic alert systems! If I wanted to order a medic alert system, I’d have done so through a reputable company that doesn’t hound their customers into being bullied to buy or sign up for one.

  9. Eadie Kelly says:

    I never signed up for my phone, which I pay for, to be a predatory device. These calls are intrusive and insane!

  10. Robert Terry says:

    ENOUGH IS TOO MUCH!!!

  11. Janice Fix says:

    It is very annoying. We have a land line and get telemarketing calls and wrong numbers which we see on the TV.

    My cell phone is constanting getting telemarketing calls which I ignore. I use Verizon and they only allow you to temporarily block about five numbers I believe. They just don’t stop. I worked for a short while telemarketing years ago and at a temp job about two years ago and people just do not want to talk to you. Ive been on the telemarketing end, but not abusive, and on the receiving end. I’m no salesperson, but for me it was not a good job. Have also been on the DNC list for years and still get calls. Our numbers are just sold off.

  12. Carol Klingbeil says:

    I sometimes get 3 to 4 of these calls a day. It started as soon as I turned 65. I have asked politely to be removed from their lists and often they become very aggressive. One young man even called me a dirty old “C” word. If a number does show up in caller i.d. and I try to call them back I get a recording stating the number has been disconnected or is invalid. These cruel crooks are quite sophisticated. Please stop them.

    (please do not publish my email)

  13. Linda Scheer says:

    I get multiple calls a day, even though I’m on the Do Not Call Registry. I no longer speak to them. I simply pick up and hang up. Nothing else seems to work. I am an independent consultant, so can’t rely on the phone # ID of the caller, as I may have a prospective client calling. It’s really a pain! I hope something can be done to prevent these unsolicited calls.

  14. BRUCE KING says:

    I don’t approve of the these predatory tactics who seem to prey primarily on our elders. I would like it to stop.

  15. Benjamin Gaines says:

    My 92 year old Father, gets these calls constantly, even though he already has an alert system. I was listening on the other line when they tried to convince him to get an “upgrade.” When I spoke up they hung up.

  16. margo kelley says:

    I use my phone perhaps 10 times a month; ALL the remainder of some 100 calls are ROBO-CALLS. I a, elderly & disabled; I get these calls at all hours, & I nap frequently. I have had my phone number changed every year to avoid these calls, no good. I need my privacy, deserve it, & demand that all robo calls be stopped & the corporations behind them tried for making the elderly more stressed & afraid. STOP THIS PLEASE.

  17. margo kelley says:

    I am old & disabled; I get perhaps 3 calls a month which are personal, ALL the rest, 99% are ROBO-CALLS. I cannot keep answering these; they wake me up at all hours, I nap too; then they hang up. This crap is becoming bad for my health & well being, as I have been “tracked” before; the stress is TOO MUCH & I fear for my life. I have registered w/ Do Not Call every year; have gotten a NEW telephone # every year, & still they call. Please STOP THIS!

  18. Jerry Pruce says:

    STOP THEM NOW!!!!

  19. Stephane Asher says:

    Enough

  20. Christine Crowley says:

    When I had Time Warner phone/internet/tv bundle I could block calls, but now that I am stuck (in a new area) with AT&T I would have to pay. Not fair. I am getting several calls a day.

  21. Lydia Clary says:

    The technology exists to STOP robocalls. Phone carriers should employ that technology. Robocalls are most often from dubious businesses, dubious charities and scam artists; they should be made illegal for once and for all.

    • Christina Tetreault says:

      We agree Lydia! That’s why the goal of our campaign is to get the telecoms to offer free tools to block robocalls. Together we can End Robocalls. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  22. Rick Stotelmeyer says:

    The computer generated calls and text messages are a waist of time! If I do not have the phone number in my Contacts File I do not answer the call and/or text message! However, I still have to delete the messages that may be left and Block the phone number(s) they came from!

  23. David Jackson says:

    For the sake of annoyance please stop these Robo Calls.

  24. Martha Adams says:

    I know that technology exists to stop these robocalls, and I want them stopped! I want the do not call list to be permanent, with no need to ever renew as long as your telephine number does not change.

  25. Lynn says:

    Now, can I get reimbursed for the call blocker that I had to BUY?

  26. Bert Wilson says:

    Aggressive telemarketers bilked my father in law out of several hundred thousand dollars, plunging her and my mother into debt and jeopardizing their health in their 80s and 90s. My mother in law should have been able to spend her remaining years in their home, but telemarketers preyed upon my father in law until the were nearly broke and we were supporting them. I hope these fiends have a visit from karma when it’s their turn to be elderly. This ruling and the paltry fine is cold comfort for any child who has seen their parents savings stolen by telemarketers.

    • Christina Tetreault says:

      Thank you for your comment Bert. We’re very sorry to hear about your in-law’s troubles. Their experience underscores how important it is that scam robocalls be stopped before they come into our homes. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign the petition and ask your friends to join with us.

  27. Betty Pearlman says:

    Have them stop calling the elderly trying to bully them into buying magazines at senior rates (which are more expensive then regular rate for the same magazine). And then they call over and over when you hang up, being very pushy and unpleasant the whole time. I have my lan line phone off the hook because of them

    • Christina Tetreault says:

      Hi Betty. Yes, we agree. All scammers should be stopped before they can do any damage. Sorry that you have to take your phone off the hook. We want the telecoms to provide free tools to block these calls before they reach us. Thanks for the comment.

  28. Rick says:

    What they need to do is make the penalties more of a deterrent and ban individuals guilty of repeat offenses from being involved in any sort of telemarketing. Pete Rose was banned from baseball for life for placing a bet. These people are violating federal law.

  29. Please get calls STOPPED,

    • Christina Tetreault says:

      Hi Sally. Working together we can end robocalls. If you haven’t already, please join us by signing the petition and share it with your friends. Thanks for your comment.

  30. Jillian Phillips says:

    This happens way too much to the elderly. Intervened when I found out how gullible my mom was years ago. We virtually had to isolate her phone calls since DoNotCall was not that successful.

    • Christina Tetreault says:

      Jillian, so sorry to hear about your mom’s experience. We’re working to make sure that the phone companies supply consumers free tools to block these calls before they reach us. Hope you will join the fight! Thanks for your comments.

  31. Wayne Welsh says:

    Why is this guy not in jail???

  32. Stop these damn robocalls. They are very annoying and not worth my time that it takes to answer them.

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