In fighting 'scourge of illegal robocalls,' Federal Trade Commission cites some victories

In one alleged scam, a group called Veterans of America "used fake veterans' charities and illegal robocalls to get people to donate cars, boats and other things of value," the FTC said.

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By Janelle Griffith

The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday announced "several victories" in its fight against illegal robocalls, including some that resulted in judgments in the millions of dollars.

"Under the court orders announced today, the defendants are banned from robocalling and most telemarketing activities, including those using an automatic dialer, and will pay significant financial judgments," the FTC said in a statement Tuesday. "The defendant in one of these cases provided the software platform that resulted in more than one billion illegal robocalls."

The agency said that it stopped Veterans of America and its founder from running an alleged series of sham charities that falsely claimed to collect tax-deductible donations. The scam allegedly "used fake veterans' charities and illegal robocalls to get people to donate cars, boats, and other things of value," the FTC statement said.

Separately, three defendants from Point Break Media, a South Florida-based network of companies that allegedly operated under similar names and threatened small businesses with removal from Google's search engine results, agreed to a robocall ban and not to help others send robocalls. Point Break Media had no relationship with Google, yet claimed to be “data service providers” for the company or “authorized Google My Business agencies," the FTC said in the statement.

Three defendants named in a case against NetDotSolutions, who allegedly provided the autodialers used to place billions of illegal robocalls, are now banned from supplying autodialers to telemarketers, the FTC said. The agency said those defendants provided the autodialing technology used by robocallers in at least eight prior FTC cases that resulted in more than one billion illegal robocalls. They will pay $1.35 million, the FTC said.

Seven defendants from Higher Goals Marketing who allegedly operated a credit card debt-relief scheme, also agreed to a telemarketing ban, according to the FTC. The defendants allegedly started the scheme just weeks after the FTC closed a similar operation where several of the defendants had previously worked.

NBC News was unable to immediately reach Veterans of America, Point Break Media, NetDotSolutions or Higher Goals Marketing for comment.