(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced a lawsuit against California-based CTI Group LLC (CTI) for unfairly calling Ohio consumers who were on the National Do Not Call Registry and for violating Ohio’s consumer laws.
“This company is located in California but it was calling Ohio consumers and violating Ohio and federal laws,” DeWine said. “Even if telemarketers are located in another state, they still have to comply with Ohio consumer laws in order to do business here.”
CTI sells trading and investment software to consumers, including products called automated robot trading software and Victory S&P E-Mini Trading Programs. Its principal place of business is 1500 Rosecrans Ave., Suite 500 in Manhattan Beach, California.
According to the Attorney General, CTI repeatedly called consumers who had placed their phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry or who asked not to be called. Plus, after convincing consumers to purchase its software programs over the phone, the business charged consumers’ credit card accounts without their written consent and refused to issue refunds.
The Attorney General’s lawsuit charges the businesses 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, failure to register as a telephone solicitor in Ohio, and charging consumers’ financial accounts without obtaining written confirmation of the sale. 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 by visiting www.donotcall.gov or by calling 888-382-1222.
- Ask to be put on a business’s internal do not call list – a separate list telemarketers must maintain in addition to the National Do Not Call Registry.
- Watch for scams and don’t trust caller ID. In some cases, unwanted calls come from scam artists who are located out of the country and use “spoofing” to disguise the number that appears on your caller ID.
- Report telemarketing violations to the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and/or the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
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.
CTI Complaint (PDF)
Dan Tierney -- 614-466-3840
Mark Moretti -- 614-466-3840