FTC “Warning Letters” Sent to VoIP Service Providers Reminding VoIP Providers Not To Assist or Facilitate Illegal Robocalling
Kehoe Law Firm, P.C. is making consumers aware that the FTC staff sent warning letters to nine companies reminding them of the potential ramifications of behind-the-scenes involvement in illegal COVID-19 promotions. The companies that received the letters are VoIPMax, SIPJoin Holding, IFly Communications, Third Rock Telecom, Bluetone Communications, VoIP Terminator a/k/a BLMarketing, J2 Web Services, VoxBone US, and Comet Media.
The recipients of the warning letters, according to the FTC, are providers of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services and companies that license telephone number who have customers that may be involved in the recent onslaught of robocalls used to further Coronavirus scams. The letters remind the VoIP providers that under the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule, “assisting and facilitating” others involved in illegal robocalling is illegal, too. (And, for commercial calls, “initiating or causing the initiation of calls that deliver prerecorded messages” is illegal unless the person has given their express written permission to receive robocalls from the person or company making the calls.)
In addition, under the Telemarketing Sales Rule, it’s unlawful “to provide substantial assistance or support to a seller or telemarketer” when you know or consciously avoid knowing that the seller or telemarketer is violating certain provisions of the Rule – for example, if they:
- Make false or misleading statements to get a person to buy a product;
- Make false or misleading statements to get charitable contributions;
- Misrepresent a seller or telemarketer’s affiliation with a government agency;
- Transmit false or deceptive caller ID information; or
- Initiate or cause the initiation of telemarketing calls to numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry.
According to the FTC, the warning letters are focused on these examples, because Coronavirus-related robocalls consumers are receiving often involve violations of those provisions.
Source: Federal Trade Commission – FTC.gov