(The Center Square) – Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Tuesday announced two new initiatives as part of his office’s campaign against illegal phone calls that use computerized autodialers to transmit pre-recorded messages – better known as robocalls.
The Attorney General’s Office created a new complaint form to report robocalls and launched a new website detailing how to recognize robocalls and other possible telemarketing scams, as well as methods to stop robocalls.
“Robocalls are more than annoying — they can also be illegal,” Ferguson said in a Press release. “A lot of our cases are based on advice we get from Washingtonians. If robocalls are harassing you, please file a complaint with my office.
Not all robocalls in Washington are illegal. School posts, political speeches, and businesses people signed up with are allowed to dial automatically. Companies without permission are not allowed to make robocalls.
The new complaint form and website continue Ferguson’s efforts over the past two years to end illegal robocalls.
In October 2021, Ferguson filed a lawsuit accusing Corvallis, Oregon-based Global Grid Telecom of illegally calling Washington residents with deceptive recorded messages, including – ironically – calls aimed at sell a service called “MAX | Command” which the company claims will stop undesirables. unwanted phone calls. The case is ongoing.
In March 2021, Ferguson joined the Federal Trade Commission and a coalition of 39 other attorneys general, in announcing a settlement against for-profit fundraisers Associated Community Services, Inc. and Directele, Inc., as well as several corporations and individuals who are affiliated with them. .
As a result of this settlement, the two national companies that made more than 1.7 million robocalls in Washington for fake charities will pay $495,000 to help fund legitimate charities.
In August 2020, a King County Superior Court judge ordered two Vancouver-based air duct cleaning companies targeted by Ferguson, owned by the same man, to pay $10 million in civil penalties for engaging in misleading advertising and unfair sales practices. US Air Ducts & Sky Builder Inc. and DLM Services made more than 13 million robocalls in the state from 2017 to 2019.
In February 2022, the Federal Trade Commission received 6,075 complaints from Washingtonians regarding telephone solicitations.