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Texas helps bring down nationwide telephone scam that swindled Americans out of $110 million

Belton police warning residents of phone scam
Posted at 4:06 PM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 17:07:02-05

AUSTIN, TX — Texas has helped to bring down a nationwide telephone scam that swindled Americans out of more than $110 million.

In a press release from Attorney General Ken Paxton, Texas, along with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 38 states and the District of Columbia partnered to put a stop to a telefunding operation by Associated Community Services (ACS) and a number of related defendants.

AG Paxton says over 67 million Americans were bombarded with 1.3 billion deceptive calls that pretended to raise money for charity.

Victims were swindled out of more than $110 million.

The defendants are now "prohibited from conducting fundraising activities, consulting on behalf of any charitable or nonprofit organization, and using robocalls for any form of telemarketing."

“My office will continue to stand up for good-hearted Texans who give donations to what they believe is a worthy cause. I will not stand by while fraudsters attempt to deceive the generous citizens of our state in order to line their own pockets,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Today’s settlement is yet another warning to would-be fraudsters – do not mess with Texas.”

AG Paxton says ACS and other defendants were accused in a lawsuit of fraudulently collecting money for charitable causes, knowingly violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and "making harassing calls, which sometimes reached more than 1.3 million phone numbers more than ten times in a single week and 7.8 million numbers more than twice in one hour."