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FTC Kills "Robocall" Operation

In its 100th case against violations to the national Do Not Call (DNC) Registry, the FTC has shut the doors on a robocall operation that was scamming people by using the FTC’s name.

According to the FTC, The Cuban Exchange Inc. impersonated the agency in an attempt to trick consumers into turning over their bank account and other sensitive or personal information. Also operating as CrediSure America and MyiPad.us, the scam promised to help consumers obtain consumer refunds from the FTC. Suhaylee Rivera, the principal behind the company is also accused of spoofing the FTC’s toll-free Consumer Response phone number.

The FTC charged that the defendants made illegal robocalls to consumers that played a prerecorded messaged telling them to visit the website ftcrefund.com. During the message, they also give consumers a phony “seizure ID number.” As part of its poorly executed scam, the message used the same “seizure ID number” for all consumers the defendants contacted.

Consumers who enter their “Seizure ID” number on the website are directed to a page that provides information on the name of the refund case, the amount to be refunded, the fee the defendant will charge, and the supposed total amount of the refund the consumer will receive. To get the “refund,” consumers must provide their address, phone number, bank name (including the name listed on the account), account number, routing number, and a check number.

“When the Federal Trade Commission returns money to consumers who have been ripped off, it doesn’t use robocalls, and it certainly doesn’t ask them to provide personal financial information,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

“To anyone hell-bent on breaking the law by making illegal robocalls, transmitting phony Caller ID information, or impersonating a federal agency, we have two words for you: Stop now. The real Federal Trade Commission will come after you.”

The case is the 100th brought by the FTC over the past nine years alleging violations related to the national Do Not Call (DNC) Registry, which was launched in 2003.

Copies of some of the case records are available online.

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Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.
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