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Telemarketing scam that reached millions of Utah phone numbers shut down

Utah Telemarketing.jpg
Posted at 2:03 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 16:09:14-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Commerce and the Utah Attorney General's Office announced Thursday that a settlement has been reached to shut down a telefunding scam that reached millions in the state.

The scam run by Associated Community Services collected more than $110 million since 2008 off deceptive pitches that claimed they were supporting homeless veterans, breast cancer patients, children with autism and other causes. Instead, the company kept as much as 90 cents of every dollar they solicited.

In all, 1.3 billion illegal robocalls were made, reaching 67 million consumers around the country.

Utah offices joined the Federal Trade Commission and 46 agencies from 38 states and the District of Columbia to put an end to the operation.

“Utahns contribute more of their income to charity each year than any other state. That ethic of service to others is a core part of our state’s identity,” noted Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes and Department of Commerce Director Margaret W. Busse in a joint statement. “Safeguarding citizens against charity fraud allows Utahns to give to causes with confidence that their donation will help those in need, not line the pockets of the corrupt.”