Nationwide Phone Scams Hit KY Hard

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Attorney General Jack Conway announced Wednesday a crackdown on illegal telemarketing, having obtained a temporary restraining order to halt one fraudulent telemarketer and a $10,000 civil penalty against a second company for violating Kentucky’s Do Not Call law.

The Attorney Generals Office says the actions are a joint operation with the Federal Trade Commission. The partnership and telemarketing fraud sweep is being dubbed “Operation Telephoney.”

“When companies break the law by violating the Do Not Call list, they invade consumers’ homes and violate their trust,” Conway said.

Conway went on to say, “fraudulent telemarketers not only invade our privacy, they steal our money. It’s important for businesses to understand that if they break the law, they will face prosecution and significant penalties.”

The legal action stems from deceptive marketing and illegal billing practices by the company in connection with sales of its “SureTouch” long-distance calling cards.

Investigators found that the company fraudulently told consumers it represented a major retailer or credit card company, placed unauthorized charges on a consumer’s card, debited bank accounts without authorization or informed consent, provided false identities, and refused consumer’s request not to be called again – sometimes calling up to six times a day until consumers listened to the pitch.

In the second telemarketing enforcement action, the Attorney General’s Office obtained a $10,000 settlement from DNH Consulting, of Oviedo, Fla., which also does business as “Health Services.”

Investigators report that DNH violated Kentucky’s telemarketing laws while selling a discount prescription drug card by contacting Kentucky consumers whose residential phone numbers were listed on the Do Not Call list.

DNH paid $10,000 in civil penalties. DNH does not admit any violation of law or admit to any liability in reaching the settlement.

If you think you are a victim of a telemarketing scam you can call the consumer protection hot-line at 1-888-432-9275.

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