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Attorney General Formella Announces Joint Law Enforcement Sweep to Stem the Tide of Illegal Telemarketing Calls to U.S. Consumers

For Immediate ReleaseJuly 19, 2023

Contact:
Michael S. Garrity, Director of Communications
[email protected] | (603) 931-9375

Concord, NH – Attorney General John M. Formella along with the Federal Trade Commission and other law enforcement partners nationwide, including attorneys general from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, announce a new crackdown today on illegal telemarketing targeting operations responsible for billions of calls to U.S. consumers.

“Taking every action we can with our law enforcement partners to protect Granite Staters from illegal telemarketers is crucial,” said Attorney General Formella. “These unwanted calls are now a daily plague that open people up to all kinds of potential scams and predatory practices.”

The joint state and federal “Operation Stop Scam Calls” initiative builds on the efforts of the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office and other state and federal partners to combat the scourge of illegal telemarketing, including robocalls. This initiative targets telemarketers and the companies that hire them as well as lead generators who deceptively collect and provide consumers’ telephone numbers to robocallers and others, falsely representing that these consumers have consented to receive calls. It also targets Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers who facilitate tens of billions of illegal robocalls every year, which often originate overseas.

Attorney General Formella reminds consumers to stay diligent protecting their personal information. Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. Be aware Caller ID showing a “local” number does not necessarily mean it’s a local caller. Never give out personal information, such as birthdate or mother’s maiden name, on the phone. If someone says they represent a company or government agency, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement or the company’s website. And, if you answer the phone and a recording advises you to hit a button to stop getting calls, hang up. Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.

New Hampshire’s actions build on the work of its state and federal partners including the FTC, which announced five new cases against companies and individuals responsible for distributing or assisting in the distribution of billions of illegal telemarketing calls to consumers nationwide.

Other contributing law enforcers include the U.S. Department of Justice, Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Federal Communications Commission.

In addition to the law enforcement actions announced today, the FTC has a variety of materials aimed at helping consumers block unwanted telemarketing calls. This includes advice related to robocalls and other unwanted calls and information on how to spot and avoid phone scams at ftc.gov/calls, which is also available in Spanish at ftc.gov/llamadas. The FTC also has a new educational webpage at ftc.gov/RobocallScams that includes examples of real illegal robocalls and steps people can take to avoid robocall scams.

The New Hampshire Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau investigates and prosecutes fraud against New Hampshire consumers. To file a complaint with the New Hampshire Department of Justice, call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-888-468-4454 or file a complaint online at https://www.doj.nh.gov/consumer/complaints.

New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658

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