Attorney General Roy Cooper Pulls the Plug on Illegal Robo Caller

A telemarketing company that made illegal and annoying robo calls offering airline tickets, gas cards and NASCAR tickets is under court order to stop.

"When you sign up for the Do Not Call Registry, you're making it clear that you don't want to be bothered by unwanted calls," said Attorney General Roy Cooper. "We take these complaints seriously and take action when telemarketers ignore people's wishes and break the law."

Wake County Superior Court Judge Stephens halted Media Synergy Group, LLC of Richmond and its president Louis G. Anton from making calls that violate North Carolina telemarketing laws. Cooper is asking the court to stop the company's illegal telemarketing calls for good and to order the company to pay fines for its calls.

As alleged in the complaint, Media Synergy Group made unsolicited sales calls to North Carolinians including to those who had joined the Do Not Call Registry. The company used automatic dialers to make calls and deliver a prerecorded message when an answering machine picked up.

Under North Carolina law, it's illegal to use these calls known as robo calls unless a live caller introduces the call first and asks if you're willing to hear the recorded pitch.

According to complaints, the messages informed consumers that they may have won airlines tickets, gas cards and NASCAR tickets and instructed them to call for more information. When one consumer called to ask that the calls stop, the telemarketer refused stating that returning the call served as an invitation to do business and to keep calling .

"Putting your number on the Do Not Call list is a great way to cut down on annoying interruptions from telemarketers," Cooper said. "Reporting telemarketers that keep calling anyway helps us enforce the law and stop the calls."

Nearly 5.5 million North Carolina phone numbers have been placed on the Do Not Call Registry since it started six years ago. Since 2003, Cooper's office has taken action against dozens of companies to stop illegal telemarketing calls, winning more than $1 million from violators.

North Carolinians can add their home and mobile telephone numbers to the list by calling 1-888-382-1222 from the number they wish to register.