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From Antitrust Law Daily, January 10, 2018

Telemarketer settles FTC charges that it requested donations, despite saying otherwise

By J. Preston Carter, J.D., LL.M.

InfoCision, Inc., a company that made millions of calls to consumers on behalf of charitable organizations, has agreed to pay a $250,000 civil penalty to settle FTC charges that its telemarketers misled consumers by falsely saying they were not calling to solicit contributions. The FTC’s release states that, since 2013, the Ohio-based company has conducted hundreds of nationwide telemarketing campaigns for reaching consumers nationwide on behalf of charitable organizations (U.S. v. InfoCision,Inc., FTC File No. 162 3021, Case No. 5:18-cv-00064).

The FTC alleges that in some of those campaigns, although InfoCision’s telemarketers told consumers at the start of the call that they were not calling to ask for a donation, they subsequently asked consumers to mail or hand-deliver materials requesting donations to family members, friends, or neighbors. In many cases, InfoCision’s telemarketers allegedly asked consumers to donate money, typically in amounts ranging from $10 to $50.

Based on this conduct, the complaint charges InfoCision with making false or misleading statements to induce consumers to make charitable contributions in violation of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), which requires telemarketers calling on behalf of a charity to promptly identity the charity and inform the consumer if the purpose of the call is to seek a donation.

Along with imposing a $250,000 civil penalty, the proposed order, filed by the Department of Justice on the FTC’s behalf, bars InfoCision from violating the TSR and from making any false or misleading statements designed to induce anyone to pay for goods or services or make a charitable contribution.

Attorneys: Nadine S. Samter, FTC. Terry Brennan (Baker Hostetler) for InfoCision, Inc.

Companies: InfoCision, Inc.

MainStory: TopStory ConsumerProtection Privacy FederalTradeCommissionNews

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