FCC crackdown on telemarketer that harassed Tempe businessPosted: Updated:
TEMPE, Ariz. – When the phone rings these days at a Tempe business called A.V.P.S Incorporated, employees are happy to answer.
However, that wasn't the case six months ago when the audio visual company complained to 3 On Your Side that they were being bombarded with angry callers.
The calls were similar to a recording obtained by 3 On Your Side. "Please stop calling me. I am not interested and you are harassing me."
Evellyn Kodman owns A.V.P.S and says the incoming phone calls were frequent. "We couldn't deal with the volume of calls. I mean, our switchboard was lit up 100% of the time."
Evelyn says a telemarketing company called Security First of Alabama had apparently hijacked or "spoofed" her business number and then made calls all around the nation.
However, on the caller ID was Evelyn's Tempe business number that was displayed making it look like her company was the one calling.
Evelyn filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission and asked the angry callers to do the same thing.
In an attempt to get the telemarketer to stop Evelyn would tell the callers, "We are a victim of identity theft.
It's called Caller ID spoofing. Someone has taken our phone number and programmed it into a telemarketing machine."
As a result of all of those complaints, the FCC took action recently against Security First of Alabama and those telemarketing calls.
According to an FCC document, the agency fined the Alabama company $342,000 for purposely displaying an incorrect Caller ID number and initiating prerecorded advertising messages to consumers.
Evelyn is glad the FCC did something. "We are elated. The FCC! Something good happened."
Evelyn says it's a great victory and should send a message to companies who spoof legitimate numbers to make their telemarketing calls.
"Well, it's good news, good news. It's nice to know that the government works for you. That the FCC came through."