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FTC joins 38 states in takedown of massive charity robocall operation

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The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has closed down a huge charity fundraising scam that duped victims out of $110 million.

The FTC said on Thursday that together with 46 agencies from 38 states, the organization was able to stamp out the telefunding operation, which has made an estimated 1.3 billion “deceptive” calls to at least 67 million US citizens.

According to the FTC, the communication “bombardment” was mainly comprised of illegal robocalls, but after residents were told they would be funding charity projects related to firefighters, veterans, and children, millions of dollars were still raised by the group using “deceptive solicitations.”

The complaint, filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, alleges that Associated Community Services (ACS) and associated defendants “knew that the organizations for which they were fundraising spent little or no money on the charitable causes they claimed to support,” and out of every dollar generated, the ACS and others kept as much as 90 cents.

Since at least 2008, the FTC says solicitations were made on behalf of “numerous organizations” that claimed to help homeless veterans, children with autism, house fire sufferers, breast cancer patients, and more.

ACS was also allegedly the main fundraiser for sham […]

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