Attorney General cracks down on spam phone calls that target Washington residents

Washington, Benton County

SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit against a Corvallis, Oregon-based company and its owner for illegally robocalling Washington state residents in an ironic attempt to sell a service that blocked spam phone calls.

According to a release from Ferguson’s office, Global Grid Telecom is responsible for 54,410 spam phone calls to Washington state residents from May 2017 to December 2018. It used an auto dialing program that send commercial voice messages to landline phone numbers throughout the state; including a large sum of CenturyLink customers.

The lawsuit, which was filed in King County Superior Court, asserts that 16,808 Washingtonians received at least two calls from Global Grid Telecom with one customer receiving as many as 23 robocalls from the company.

RELATED: FBI warns Washington state of fraudulent phone scams

As a result, Global Grid Telecom and its owner face a maximum penalty of $7,500 per violation. Ferguson intends to shut down the company’s illegal spam calling operation through this lawsuit.

“My office will continue to serve as a watchdog to protect Washingtonians from illegal robocalls,” Ferguson said. “Here is my message to deceptive robocallers: Immediately stop harassing Washingtonians, or we will hold you accountable.”

Global Grid Telecom tried to sell unsuspecting victims a service called “MAX Command” which they claimed would stop unwanted spam phone calls. However, the Attorney General’s office claims that CenturyLink already offered its own features with similar uses to existing customers. These calls marketed the service by evoking the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry.

RELATED: AG Ferguson, AARP team up to educate people in Kennewick about robocall scams

This lawsuit seeks to return the money to any Washington state resident who fell victim to the scheme. It’s the next case in a line of battles spearheaded by Ferguson against spam phone callers and associated robocalls targeting Washington residents.

Are you receiving unwanted spam phone calls? You can report them to Attorney General Ferguson’s office by clicking here to visit his website; or by calling their toll-free phone number at 1-800-551-4636.

Complaints can also be submitted directly to the Federal Trade Commission (click here for more information).

RECENT HEADLINES FROM THE KAPP KVEW NEWS STAFF:

RELATED: Richland citizens targeted by phone scam, RPD warns