North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
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Robo caller to quit bothering NC consumers, says AG Cooper

Release date: 5/29/2007

Telemarketer ordered to stop illegal prerecorded calls

Raleigh: A company that made unwanted robo calls to North Carolinians has been ordered to stop, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today.

“Not only did these telemarketers make unlawful robo calls to people on the Do Not Call list, but they even asked if people wanted to stop getting the calls and then ignored their wishes,” said Cooper.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Ronald L. Stephens today agreed with Cooper’s request to require Possibilities Unlimited of Arlington Heights, Illinois to quit making telemarketing calls to North Carolina consumers. Cooper is also seeking a permanent ban on the company’s calls and civil penalties for its violations of the law. Possibilities Unlimited is the largest source of Do Not Call complaints to Cooper’s office so far this year

According to the complaint filed by Cooper’s office earlier this month, Possibilities Unlimited made illegal robo calls to North Carolina consumers including to several who had listed their numbers on the Do Not Call Registry to stop telemarketing calls. Robo calls are prerecorded telephone calls made using automated dialers. Under North Carolina law, prerecorded commercial telemarketing calls are illegal unless a live operator first asks if the consumer wishes to listen to the message.

Cooper alleges that beginning in 2006, Possibilities Unlimited worked with United Savings Center of Tacoma, Washington to make robo calls to North Carolinians using names such as Mutual Consolidated Savings, MCS and Card Services to market credit cards, debt consolidation and other credit services.

More than 20 consumers complained to Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division about the unwanted and disruptive calls. People who got the calls say that after a recorded pitch they were told to press one number to speak to a live operator or another number to stop receiving the company’s calls. The live operators often refused to tell consumers the company’s name, and consumers who pressed the number to stop future calls from Possibilities Unlimited kept getting the calls.

Since 2003, more than 4 million North Carolina numbers have been placed on the Do Not Call Registry. Cooper helped push through the Registry to give consumers a way to cut down on telemarketing calls, and he is also pushing a state law to ban prerecorded telemarketing calls made by political candidates and campaigns.

“If you’ve signed up for the Do Not Call list but keep getting telemarketing calls, let us know,” said Cooper.

To report Do Not Call violators, call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM. To place your number on the Do Not Call Registry, call (888) 382-1222 from the number you wish to register or visit www.nocallsnc.com.