In 2007 I posted: The same old directory scam, will it never end? It’s the basic “we’re calling to update your listing” rip-off call I’ve been getting since I started doing marketing here over 15 years ago.
Well, the company and owners have finally been criminally charged by the Canadian Authorities:
OTTAWA, April 12, 2010 — The Competition Bureau announced today that criminal charges were laid against three Montreal brothers and six companies allegedly involved in deceptive telemarketing activities related to business directory scams…
The charges stem from a Bureau investigation into criminal deceptive telemarketing by a group of corporations led by the Frank brothers, collectively known as Infotel… These activities are estimated to have generated approximately $60 million in revenue between 1999 and 2004.
The United States’ FTC sued the company(s) last June and won an injunction as well as getting the Competition Bureau to raid their offices (couldn’t find original news on this so relying on posting at Rip Off Report):
The FTC has been granted temporary restraining orders … doing business as Reed Publishing, halting the deceptive practices and freezing the defendants’ assets….
Canadian Press, Tue Jun. 02 2009 3:55:38 PM (Competition Bureau of Canada) About 150 investigators executed 10 search warrants in and around the city of Montreal today but deputy commissioner Andrea Rosen says no arrests have been made yet. The newly amended Competition Act which carries significantly higher penalties for those who are convicted could finally bring justice to the FRANKS, Gordon, Ted, and Sean who have run the largest and longest B2B Telemarketing Scam in Canada.
The Rip Off Report also shows that their offices had been raided as early as 2004. Why does it take so long to shut these guys down? If they made $60M in five years, imagine how much they made since 2004. And how many B2B companies they called and nagged to get that money.