Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined a large operation launched on Tuesday by the Federal Trade Commission to put an end to illegal robocalling practices.
“Nothing is more annoying, more intrusive and unwelcomed than robocalls — and yet, Michigan residents fall victim to an avalanche of illegal calls each day,” Nessel said in a press release.
The Federal Trade Commission's operation “Call It Quits” includes sweeping lawsuits against companies and individuals, development of call-blocking technology, and consumer education projects.
Kelly Rossman-McKinney, the Attorney General's spokeswoman, says the calls keep people from wanting to answer all unknown calls — even in emergencies.
“That’s why those spoofing calls are so successful, because we all have someone we worry about,” she said. “When you see a local call, it doesn’t indicate that it's someone you know and love that has been in an accident, so you take any calls.”
Rossman-McKinney says many call centers violate the Michigan Consumer Protection Act and the Michigan Home Solicitation Sales Act.
She also says Michigan has one of the largest call centers in the country. She says the attorney general's office will be taking legal action against it in the next several months.
“Earlier this year, a couple in Zeeland Michigan actually ended up giving $17,000 to someone based on that kind of scam,” Rossman-McKinney said.
The attorney general’s office hosted 125 consumer education seminars this year as part of the efforts.
According to Rossman-McKinney, 700 million robocalls have been made to Michigan residents so far this year.
Information on how to avoid these calls are up online at ftc.gov/calls.