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Verizon Wireless Files Lawsuit to Stop Unknown Telemarketers from Calling

March 26, 2008

Verizon Wireless announced today that it has filed a lawsuit to stop unknown telemarketers from calling its customers and employees with an offer of an extended car warranty.

 
The lawsuit claims that telemarketers have illegally used an autodialer to reach Verizon Wireless customers with incorrect Caller ID information showing calls made from a variety of area codes including the 281, 614, 801 and 562 area codes. These numbers are displayed via "spoofing" techniques that mask the origin of the calls.
 
The lawsuit, filed in New Jersey Superior Court, alleges violations of the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which makes it illegal to use an autodialer to make calls to wireless phones, as well as state fraud and privacy laws.
 
With the lawsuit filed, Verizon can use the discovery process to identify the telemarketers and stop their practices.
 
According to the lawsuit, when Verizon Wireless customers and employees who received the calls attempted to call the numbers displayed on their Caller ID back, they got a non-working number.
 
Specifically, Verizon Wireless alleges that, "beginning in January 2008, more than 2 million of its customers and employees received calls on their wireless telephones with a pre-recorded voice message indicating that the recipient's car warranty was about to expire, and encouraging them to press "1" for more information. When a recipient presses "1", he or she is connected to a person who asks for the make and model of the car. However, if the recipient asks for information about the company offering the policy, the representative simply hangs up and ends the call."
 
Steven E. Zipperstein, vice president and general counsel of Verizon Wireless said, "Telemarketers are using increasingly sophisticated methods, such as illegal autodialing, to harass our customers. Whatever the method, these unlawful telemarketing calls are an annoyance to our customers and invade their privacy, and we will continue to use every weapon in our legal arsenal to stop this activity and protect our customers."
 
 
Stefania Viscusi is an established writer and avid reader. To see more of her articles, please visit Stefania Viscusi’s columnist page.







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