NC alarm company faces fines for robocalls
Posted May 4, 2015
Iredell County, N.C. — An alarm company based in Iredell County agreed on Thursday to pay $136,000 in fines for scary calls made to North Carolina customers to convince them to purchase protection.
Thousands of North Carolinans complained to the Attorney General Roy Cooper's office about automated calls that claimed burglaries were on the rise before pitching a "free" alarm system installation.
ISI Alarms NC and company President William Jayson Waller were doing two things wrong:
First, it is illegal to make telemarketing calls to any number on listed on the Do Not Call Registry.
Second, it's illegal in North Carolina to use automated sales calls to pitch customers even if they are not on the No Call List.
The company is banned from any automated sales calls in the future. Should the company violate the order, it would owe another $1 million.
“Calls that use trickery and fear to make sale aren’t the right way to do business,” Cooper said. “Companies that make illegal robocalls, or hire someone else to do it for them, need to know that we will investigate and take action to make them pay.”
According to the consent judgment signed by Waller and Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens, ISI Alarms NC must also disclose clearly that its calls are trying to sell something and must provide accurate identification and contact information on Caller ID.
The attorney general's office offered these tips to protect against telemarketers trying to skirt the law:
- Never provide personal financial or other confidential information in response.
- Don’t “press 1” for more information or to stop the calls. Pressing a number verifies that your telephone number is valid and will likely lead to more calls.
- Scammers can manipulate (or “spoof”) Caller ID, so don’t rely on that to decide whether or not a call is legitimate.
- Report the calls to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within state or by filing a consumer complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov.
- Join the Do Not Call Registry if you haven’t already. To place your home and mobile telephone numbers on the Do Not Call Registry, visit www.donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222 from the number you wish to register.
- If your number is already on the Registry, be skeptical of any telemarketing calls you receive.