On Wednesday, March 30, Turner & Turner filed suit in Clark County Circuit Court against a Massachusetts car warranty company which had caused dozens of unwanted, automated robocalls to be placed to one of the attorney’s personal telephones.
The telemarketers disguised the calls by “spoofing” which allowed them to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller identification information. Some of the incoming calls falsely appeared to be calls from Arkansas area codes..
Over a three-month period, around 30 of these were made to Todd Turner, despite the fact that his personal telephone number had been listed on the National Do Not Call Registry since 2008. If the calls were not answered, an identical voice recording was left in voicemail claiming that the caller had sent something in the mail and was making a final courtesy call about an expired vehicle warranty.
The calls continued even after Turner repeatedly asked the callers to stop calling his personal telephone number. Turner, like all Americans, found these calls to be incredibly frustrating. On the morning of March 18, Turner received two of these calls. He happened to be in a good mood that morning because the night before, a particular basketball team from Kentucky had been knocked out of the NCAA basketball tournament in the first round. During one of these calls, Turner talked to three different representatives over a span of about 15 minutes and was able to gather enough information to determine the seller’s true identity.
The 24-page lawsuit, filed by Dan Turner, alleges 10 different claims against the telemarketer. “There are numerous state and federal consumer-protection laws which are designed to prohibit these illegal, annoying robocalls, but some companies simply ignore the law,” said Dan Turner. “We’ve seen an increase in these calls and in all sorts of telephone scams and it is time for these violators to be held accountable.”
According to some reports, Americans were hit with over 58 million robocalls in 2019 and the Federal Communications Commission reported that auto warranty calls were the top complaint filed by consumers in 2020.
State and federal laws prohibit telemarketers from engaging in the following conduct:
• Calling telephone numbers which are listed on the Do Not Call Registry
• Using an automatic dialing system
• Using prerecorded voice messages
• Failing to provide the caller’s true identity
• Failing to provide the identity of the business responsible for the call
• Failing to provide an opt-out mechanism to avoid future calls
• “Spoofing” or causing a fictitious number or information to be displayed on the recipient’s caller identification service
Some of these violations may also be subject to criminal penalties. “Because these companies do not identify themselves and use fake caller id information, it is difficult to find out who is responsible,” said Dan Turner. “But anytime we can, we will take appropriate action.”
Turner & Turner encourages everyone to register their personal telephone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry (www.donotcall.gov) and to report offenders to the Federal Trade Commission and the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office. You can also email our office at email@example.com if you live in Arkansas and have recently suffered a financial loss as a result of these types of similar illegal calls.