(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced a lawsuit against Florida telemarketers FBK Products LLC and FBK Holdings LLC (collectively FBK), and their principals, Gary Kranz, Steven Kranz, and Marc Rona, for calling Ohio consumers who were on the National Do Not Call Registry and violating Ohio’s consumer laws.
“When consumers sign up for the Do Not Call Registry, they expect most telemarketing calls to stop,” DeWine said. “But in this case, consumers kept receiving calls even after they told the business to stop calling. It’s unacceptable, and we will continue to go after telemarketers that take advantage of Ohio families.”
FBK used telemarketing to sell septic system maintenance products and service contracts for household goods. According to the Attorney General, the businesses repeatedly called consumers who had placed their phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry and continued to call after consumers asked them to stop.
More than 100 Ohio consumers have filed complaints about FBK with the Attorney General or the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel. Most complaints involve do-not-call violations.
The Attorney General’s lawsuit charges the businesses and their principals with violations of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act and Telephone Solicitations Sales Act. Specific counts include failure to comply with do-not-call laws and failure to register as a telephone solicitor in Ohio. In the lawsuit, the Attorney General seeks injunctive relief, civil penalties, and consumer restitution.
DeWine offers consumers the following tips for handling unwanted telemarketing calls:
- Put your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. Your registration is permanent, but if your phone number changes, you must register your new phone number. Register at www.donotcall.gov or by calling 888-382-1222.
- Ask to be put on a business’s internal do not call list. In addition to the National Do Not Call Registry, telemarketers must maintain an internal list of consumers who ask them to stop calling.
- Watch for scams and don’t trust caller ID. In some cases, unwanted calls come from scam artists located out of the country. “Spoofing” is when scammers use technology to conceal their true phone number and trick consumers into thinking the call is from a local business or financial institution. Listen to the content of the call, and be wary of callers who ask for personal information or money sent via wire transfer or prepaid cards.
Consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly should file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or by calling 800-282-0515.
FBK complaint (PDF)
Lisa Peterson-Hackley -- 614-466-3840
Eve Mueller -- 614-466-3840