FTC Touts Success of Initiative to Combat Illegal Overseas Robocalls.
On April 11, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), announced the successful implementation of Project Point of No Entry (PoNE), an initiative intended to combat illegal robocalls by disrupting foreign based “scammers and imposters” responsible for blasting US consumers with annoying and unwanted calls.
What the FTC Has Done Through Project PoNE:
- Identified point of entry VoIP service providers that are routing or transmitting illegal call traffic;
- Issued written orders to stop, warning that such conduct likely violates the law
- Pursued recalcitrant VoIP providers through law enforcement investigations and lawsuits when appropriate.
The FTC Reports Project PoNE is Making a Significant Impact
Through the FTC’s enforcement efforts and its collaboration with the Industry Traceback Group (ITG), the FCC, and state attorneys general, Project PoNE has uncovered the activity of 24 target point of entry service providers responsible for routing and transmitting illegal robocalls in connection with approximately 307 telemarketing campaigns, including government and business imposters, COVID-19 relief payment scams, and student loan debt relief and forgiveness schemes, among others. A single campaign often represents hundreds of thousands or millions of calls.
After identifying the service providers, the FTC instructed each of them to stop allowing illegal robocalls into the country or face legal action. The ITG reports that after being contacted by Project PoNE staff, 22 of the 24 targets significantly curbed or altogether stopped the flow of illegal robocalls entering the country through their respective networks.
The Role of the Official Traceback Consortium
Designated by the FCC as the official traceback consortium, ITG uses its traceback process to seek out the source of suspicious traffic and shares information with law enforcement when appropriate. Each traceback represents a snapshot of any given campaign.
Before being contacted by the FTC, the point of entry service providers had a combined total of 1,043 tracebacks. After the FTC’s intervention, that number dropped to 196; 147 of which are linked to two uncooperative providers, one of which is now subject to an FCC law enforcement action.
The FTC has released the letters sent to point if entry providers identified by Project PoNE, along with recordings of the robocalls that the targeted service providers allowed into the country, for review by the general public. The FTC hopes that making the recordings public will help consumers identify and avoid the various scams delivered by illegal robocalls.
Warning Letters Provided to the Public include - Callvox LLC:
Callvox Robocall: Computer-Hijack
An individual purporting to be from Microsoft has stated that the recipient's computer and personal information have been breached, and suggested that the recipient contact Microsoft's security team by pressing 7.
Transcript: “Hello. This call is from Microsoft Help Center. We encounter a serious issue coming out of your computer. It seems to be someone is trying to hijack your identity and try to steal your Social Security Number and personal information. If it's not fixed right away then your computer will become obsolete and all of your credential information may got compromised. If you are the one who is using Microsoft Windows in your computer, then please press 7 now to speak with security team now. Please ignore if we called you by mistake. Thanks.”
Nevertheless, Director of the FTC, Samuel Levine, stated:
“Project Point of No Entry is yet another way the FTC is sending VoIP service providers the clear message that the Commission will not stand by as illegal robocalls blast American phones. We will use all of our tools to stop companies that knowingly permit illegal calls to flood into the country.”
What is the FTC Project PoNE No-Entry Letter?
When FTC Project PoNE receives a complaint or other evidence of illegal activity, they may initiate an investigation. If the investigation reveals evidence of wrongdoing, FTC Project PoNE may issue a no-entry letter to the company or individual under investigation. This letter will typically prohibit the recipient from engaging in certain business practices, such as making telemarketing calls or sending unsolicited emails.
What are the Consequences of Receiving a Project PoNE No-Entry Letter?
Receiving a no-entry letter from FTC Project PoNE can have serious consequences for your business. If you continue to engage in the prohibited activities, you may be subject to fines, lawsuits, and other legal penalties.
In addition, the issuance of a no-entry letter can harm your reputation and make it difficult to do business in the future. Many consumers are wary of companies that have been accused of deceptive or illegal practices, and they may be hesitant to do business with you in the future.
What Should You Do if You Receive a Project PoNE No-Entry Letter?
If you receive a no-entry letter from FTC Project PoNE, it is important to take it seriously. You should consult with an attorney who is experienced in FTC compliance and consumer protection law to help you understand your options and develop a plan of action.
Your attorney can help you determine whether the allegations against you are valid, and if so, what steps you need to take to come into compliance with FTC regulations. They can also help you respond to the no-entry letter and negotiate with the FTC if necessary.
How Can you Prevent your Business’s Reputation and avoid an FTC Project PoNE No-Entry Letter?
Partnering with The Blacklist Alliance can help ensure your business activities are compliant and that you never come on the FTC’s radar. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive compliance solutions and how we can help safeguard your business reputation. Don't wait until it's too late – take action now to protect your business and ensure your continued success.
Receiving a Project PoNE no-entry letter can be a serious matter with significant consequences for your business. That's why it's important to partner with experts like The Blacklist Alliance to ensure your compliance with FTC regulations and protect your business’ reputation. If you receive such a letter, it is important to consult with an expert who is experienced in FTC compliance and consumer protection law to help you understand your options and develop a plan of action.
We hope this article has provided a comprehensive overview of FTC Project PoNE no-entry letters and what you need to know about them. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help.
Q: What should I do if I receive a no-entry letter from FTC Project PoNE?
A: If you receive a no-entry letter from FTC Project PoNE, it is important to take it seriously. You should consult with an expert who is experienced in FTC compliance and consumer protection law to help you understand your options and develop a plan of action. The Blacklist Alliance can help connect you with an experienced attorney.
Q: What are the consequences of ignoring a Project PoNE no-entry letter?
A: Ignoring a Project PoNE no-entry letter can have serious consequences for your business, including fines, lawsuits, and other legal penalties. It can also harm your reputation and make it difficult to do business in the future.
Q: How can The Blacklist Alliance help me avoid receiving a Project PoNE no-entry letter?
A: The Blacklist Alliance offers weekly news updates and comprehensive compliance courses designed to help you and your staff on FTC regulations. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help safeguard your business reputation.