Telemarketer accused of using phony caller ID

A US telemarketer of mortgage loans has been calling people whose numbers are listed on the National Do Not Call Registry, and doing so without identifying itself, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC is seeking civil penalties and an injunction in a New Jersey district court against the telemarketer for violations of its Telemarketing Sales Rule in its first case alleging transmission of false caller ID information.

According to the FTC's complaint, Srikanth Venkataraman, formerly of New Jersey, has been doing business as Scorpio Systems, Ltd., selling mortgage loans, refinancing, and other products and services. Scorpio allegedly called numbers on the Do Not Call Registry, failed to transmit its telephone number and name to consumers’ caller identification service, and failed to pay the fee required to access the Registry. The telemarketer transmitted either no caller ID or a phony caller ID and, as a result, consumers were unable to contact the telemarketer to stop unwanted telemarketing calls.