A man who owns two U.S.-based companies that provide Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services admitted in court to facilitating “tens of millions” of illegal telemarketing calls, the Department of Justice announced this week.

Victims of the scam calls transmitted by the services were told in recorded messages about air duct cleaning services that purportedly filtered out COVID-19, “preying on consumers’ fears of the virus,” said the department.
Messages involving credit card interest rate reduction and tech support scams were also transmitted by the services.

Muhammed Usman Khan, a resident of Pakistan who owns Florida-based VoIP Terminator and Virginia-based BLMarketing, agreed to a court order resolving the Federal Trade Commission allegations. Khan and the companies are now barred from similar misconduct.

According to the Department of Justice, they must also “screen and monitor customers,” and “terminate customers if they are engaged in improper telemarketing activity.” A $3.2 million civil penalty as included in the court order, however it has been suspended due to defendants’ inability to pay, said the Justice Department.

Khan violated the FTC Act and the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule by facilitating illegal calls, even after learning that their services were being used for spoofed-number robocalls and calls of numbers on the Do Not Call Registry, a complaint alleges.

This is the FTC’s third case…

Read more…