U.S. Attorney’s Office For The Northern District Of Florida Takes Part In Justice Department’s Wide-Ranging Efforts To Protect Older Adults
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida joins the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and other law enforcement partners, including attorneys general from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, in announcing a crackdown on telemarketing operations responsible for billions of illegal calls to U.S. consumers.
The announcement caps approximately a year of enforcement actions taken by federal and state agencies to combat the scourge of illegal telemarketing, including robocalls and scam calls. In the last year, the Department has pursued approximately 90 cases against illegal telemarketing operations and those who facilitate those illegal calls. This initiative, “Operation Stop Scam Calls,” targets telemarketers, including those who use telephone calls to commit fraud, as well as those who facilitate illegal telephone calls. Enforcement actions targeted lead generators who deceptively collect consumers’ telephone numbers and then provide those telephone numbers to robocallers and others (falsely representing that these consumers have consented to receive calls), as well as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers who facilitate tens of billions of illegal robocalls every year. Significant actions also were taken against individuals and entities who unjustly profited by facilitating the movement of money from scam call victims to fraudsters.
"Americans are fed up with the constant barrage of scams that maliciously target the elderly and other vulnerable citizens," said U.S. Attorney Coody. "Florida experiences far too many instances of fraud against unsuspecting, vulnerable citizens. With the assistance of our dedicated law enforcement partners, we are committed to investigating and vigorously prosecuting those who seek to steal the hard-earned savings of our citizens."
The Department of Justice and its partners urge consumers to be on the lookout for illegal calls, to take steps to minimize the number of illegal calls received, and to report any scam calls to law enforcement.
• Callers may pressure you to send money by trying to scare you. They may pretend to be someone you know who is in trouble, a government agency, or a major company. These are fraudsters. Hang up.
• Don’t trust your caller ID. It can be faked.
• If you answer the telephone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person, it’s potentially a robocall trying to sell you something. It is probably illegal and likely a scam.
• Only call a telephone number you know is real.
• Make sure your number is on the Do Not Call Registry and consider using your telephone’s call blocking options or getting a call blocking app or service.
For more information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts, visit its website at www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch. To review a list of common transnational elder fraud scams, many facilitated by telephone calls, visit https://www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch/transnational-elder-fraud-strike-force.
To learn more about the Department’s elder fraud efforts, visit www.justice.gov/elderjustice. If you or someone you know is age 60 or older and has experienced financial fraud, experienced professionals are standing by at the National Elder Fraud Hotline: 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311). This Department of Justice hotline, managed by the Office for Victims of Crime, can provide personalized support to callers by assessing the needs of the victim and identifying relevant next steps. Case managers will identify appropriate reporting agencies, provide information to callers to assist them in reporting, connect callers directly with appropriate agencies, and provide resources and referrals, on a case-by-case basis. The hotline is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET. English, Spanish, and other languages are available.
For more information on unwanted calls, including steps people can take to avoid robocall scams and to hear examples of illegal calls, visit https://www.ftc.gov/calls, which is also available in Spanish at https://www.ftc.gov/llamadas.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.
United States Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Florida
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