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VoIP Provider Enjoined in Credit Card Interest Scheme

The FTC has pulled the plug on a VoIP provider alleging it aided robocalls promoting a credit card interest scam that cost consumers millions of dollars. 

The vote was 5-0.

Related: House Approves Omnibus Robocall Bill 

At the FTC's request, a Texas federal court issued a temporary restraining order halting the operations of VoIP provider Globex Telecom and its Canadian incarnation, 9506276 Canada, Inc. The company's assets have also been frozen. 

Globex was cited for providing the means--the VoIP network--for Educare Centre Services, which the FTC sued in July 2019--with "the means to make calls to U.S. consumers, including illegal robocalls, to market Educare’s phony credit card interest rate reduction services."  

The FTC has amended the complaint, as has the state of Ohio, which is also suing, to add the VoIP provider as a defendant. 

“The FTC is determined to stop illegal robocallers, including by holding their service providers accountable,” said Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a statement. “It is unlawful for VoIP service providers to knowingly provide substantial assistance to illegal robocallers, and we will not hesitate to take action against these companies.” 

It was not a case of targeting a VoIP provider simply as the conduit for the calls, which would raise larger issues of liability. The FTC and Ohio allege that Globex's president participated in the scheme and that he and the company, knew, or consciously chose not to know, that the scheme was illegal.