Advance Notice: Briefs

Nessel’s office joins nationwide anti-spam action

By: - June 26, 2019 11:43 am
Dana Nessel

Attorney General Dana Nessel | Susan J. Demas

Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and 14 other states taking legal action against intrusive spam callers, her office announced Tuesday.

Nessel’s office brokered a settlement with the Detroit-based Ardent Natural Gas LLC in March after the company allegedly violated the Home Solicitation Sales Act for illegal robocalls to Michigan residents.

The attorney general’s office also has hosted 125 seminars on robocalls and internet scams through the end of May, according to her office. The efforts come after 1.2 billion robocalls pestered Michigan residents in 2018 and an estimated 700 million robocalls this year so far.

“Nothing is more annoying, more intrusive, uninvited and unwelcome than robocalls — and yet, Michigan residents fall victim to an avalanche of illegal calls each day,” Nessel said in a statement. “It’s time to put a stop to this public nuisance.”

The nationwide effort to thwart robocallers, “Operation Call it Quits,” is part of a broader fight against illegal telemarketing and phony medical alert systems.


The FTC asked a federal judge in June to stop six companies and 4 individuals from engaging in illegal robocalls, text messages, internet ads, emails and social media engagement to “sell fraudulent money-making opportunities to consumers” through “false or unsubstantiated earnings claims,” according to a court filing in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

The Michigan settlement and robocall seminars hosted by Nessel’s office are part of a nationwide effort involving 26 federal, state and local agencies.

Nessel’s office also joined a bipartisan group that filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in May against what they call the “noxious intrusion of illegal robocalls,” caller ID spoofing and text messages.

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Michael Gerstein
Michael Gerstein

Michael Gerstein is a former Advance reporter covering the Governor's office, criminal justice and the environment.