Robocalls Justice Dept. lawsuits injunctions March 27, 2020, Fraudulent calls to consumers often originating abroad, Impersonating government agencies

Robocalls Justice Dept. lawsuits injunctions March 27, 2020, Fraudulent calls to consumers often originating abroad, Impersonating government agencies

“The court’s decision sends a clear message to gateway carriers who knowingly do business with scammers targeting Americans from overseas,”… Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration

“O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!”...Walter Scott


From the US Justice Department.

Friday, March 27, 2020
District Court Orders Injunctions against Two Telecom Carriers Who Facilitated Hundreds of Millions of Fraudulent Robocalls to Consumers in the United States
First of Their Kind Injunctions Obtained by Justice Department

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York entered orders in two separate civil actions, barring eight individuals and entities from continuing to facilitate the transmission of massive volumes of fraudulent robocalls to consumers in the United States, the Department of Justice announced today.

In one of the matters, United States v. Nicholas Palumbo, et al., the District Court entered a preliminary injunction that bars two individuals and two entities from operating as intermediate voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) carriers during the pendency of the civil action.  In the other matter, United States v. John Kahen, et al., the District Court entered consent decrees that permanently bar an individual and three entities from operating as intermediate VoIP carriers conveying any telephone calls into the U.S. telephone system.

“These massive robocall fraud schemes target telephones of residents across our country, many of whom are elderly or are otherwise potentially vulnerable to such schemes,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division.  “The department is committed to stopping this unlawful conduct and pursuing those who knowingly facilitate these schemes for their own financial gain.”

“This office will take all appropriate measures to stop fraudulent robocalling schemes responsible for causing catastrophic losses to victims, including seeking to permanently shut down the U.S.-based enablers of such schemes,” said United States Attorney Richad P. Donoghue for the Eastern District of New York.  “Protecting elderly and vulnerable individuals from being conned by foreign call center scammers remains a priority of this office and the Department of Justice.”

As alleged in the complaints, the defendants in both cases operated as VoIP carriers, receiving internet-based calls from other entities, often located abroad, and transmitting those calls first to other carriers within the United States and, ultimately, to the phones of individuals.  Numerous foreign-based call centers are alleged to have used the defendants’ VoIP carrier services to pass fraudulent government- and business-imposter robocalls to victims in the United States.  The defendants also sold U.S. phone numbers to foreign entities, which were used as victim call-back numbers as part of massive robocalling fraud schemes.

As also alleged, the defendants were warned numerous times that they were carrying fraudulent robocalls — including calls impersonating government agencies, such as the Social Security Administration, the IRS, and legitimate businesses, such as Microsoft — and yet continued to carry those calls and facilitate fraud schemes targeting individuals in the United States.  Many of the robocalls were made by foreign fraudsters impersonating government investigators and conveying alarming messages, such as: the recipient’s social security number or other personal information has been compromised or otherwise connected to criminal activity; the recipient faces imminent arrest; the recipient’s assets are being frozen; the recipient’s bank and credit accounts have suspect activity; the recipient’s benefits are being stopped; the recipient faces imminent deportation; or combinations of these threats.  Each of these claims was a lie, designed to scare the call recipient into paying large sums of money.  These calls led to massive financial losses to elderly and other vulnerable victims throughout the United States.

“The court’s decision sends a clear message to gateway carriers who knowingly do business with scammers targeting Americans from overseas,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration.  “We will continue to pursue those who facilitate these scam calls by allowing them into the U.S. telephone network.  I want to thank the Department of Justice for its support throughout this investigation and its commitment to protecting Americans from this insidious form of fraud and theft.””

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13 responses to “Robocalls Justice Dept. lawsuits injunctions March 27, 2020, Fraudulent calls to consumers often originating abroad, Impersonating government agencies

  1. I had noticed a drop in the number of robocalls recently.

  2. CW……….
    …………pretty much the same here in Northern Indiana……..WELCOME RELIEF !!! Last year I prepared a list of telephone numbers from which a telephone call might originate. All were entered into my computer system. All telephone calls both outgoing, and incoming go through my computer system. This is really not anything new. Each incoming call is quickly checked for validity, and being on the list. If the number does not appear on the list it is electronically blocked. I had the help of an EE in setting this up but it brought the RING IN of ROBO CALLS to a screeching halt. If I wish to add a telephone number, or delete one it is a very simple operation. The software and many variants are available at Best Buy, and on EBAY. The software form Best Buy is a tad salty, but it works 100%.

  3. BTW………
    Office Depot is another potential source for call sorting answering systems.

  4. AND TODAY……….
    ……… is obvious that Cuomo, and DeBlasio think New York is THE ONLY STATE in America……therefore all anti virus supplies in America should be sent to New York, and to hell with the rest of the states.


  6. AND……..
    there will be pestilence, earthquakes, and perverted human behavior……….GOD’S FIRST WARNING could be Corona Virus.

  7. AND TODAY,………..

  8. “A New York hospital executive has been fired after she posted public comments on social media fantasising about how supporters of President Trump would get the coronavirus and not be allowed to get treatment.”

    “The executive also happens to be, unsurprisingly, a former Hillary Clinton advisor.”

    Karma’s a bitch & so is she.

  9. COVID-19 in MA is projected to peak sometime between April 7 and 17.

    Projected deaths per day: 80.

    And they’re bringing us back to work.


    Grateful for the reduction in robocalls trying to sell me hearing aids.

  10. SueK………..
    ……….have you yet received the ROBO CALL where the Brooklyn Bridge is for sale.?

  11. CW……….
    ………..there are a lot of HORSE’S REAR ENDS on Earth. You would think that somebody in the upper echelon, of an organization would not be a HORSES REAR END. Perhaps there are a LOT MORE OF THEM at the upper levels of hospital management……..TIME WILL TELL!!!!!

  12. OS87,

    Not yet, but I did get one offering me some nice swamp land in FL, complete with as many gators as I want :).

  13. SueK……….
    …….once opon a time in medieval England the upper crust had huge manor houses, and many had deep moats surrounding their manor houses. These moats often contained some really nasty crocodiles. Buy a huge barge build a castle on it and tow it into the swamp. Just think you could go fishin right out of your kitchen window.

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