Network News - January 2015

January 2015
Volume 8 | Issue 1
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Spam Database


The Spam Database is now easier to use. The Sentinel team has improved the Search, Help, Search Results, and Advanced Search functions. It’s easier to identify spam received directly from a consumer as opposed to spam forwarded by an Internet Service Provider. In Search Results, users can: 1) automatically generate images for the first 10 spam records (by clicking View Images for Selected Records); 2) preview the Search Results page (by clicking Reference Number); and 3) preview the first 100 records (using the Bulk PDF Download link to the UCE Search Results page). Finally, in Advanced Search, the team has added a Search Across All Fields section, similar to the quick search function at the top of the Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN) homepage.

Coming soon: improved functions for the FTC Complaint Assistant and, which gathers cross-border complaints.

Closing the book on business directory schemes

FTC settlements have banned two operations from selling business directory listings because they allegedly cheated small businesses and nonprofits by charging them for online listings they had not ordered and did not receive. In June 2014, the FTC and the State of Florida filed a complaint against Francois Egberongbe, Robert N. Durham, Sr., and their organization; a federal court stopped the scheme and froze their assets pending litigation. The settlement requires the fraudsters to pay $1.7 million to reimburse small business owners and others who lost money to the scam. In the second case, the FTC charged Your Yellow Book Inc. and its principals with defrauding small businesses, doctors’ offices, retirement homes, and religious schools. Many paid nearly $500 each, believing their organization had agreed to be listed in the directory. The order imposes a judgment of more than $715,000, the surrender of certain bank accounts, and proceeds from the sale of a vehicle, boat, and camper.

Do Not Call

Ever wonder how many phone numbers are registered on the National Do Not Call Registry and how many there are per state? Find out those tidbits and other helpful facts in the sixth annual National Do Not Call Registry Data Book. The Data Book for Fiscal Year 2014, issued in November, has information about the Registry from October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014. Look up the number of consumer complaints since the Registry began in 2003, the type and amount of complaints by month in FY 2014, or how many organizations accessed the Registry. The Data Book also has an appendix on registration and complaint figures by state and area code.


  • The National Do Not Call Registry has more than 217,800,000 active registrations, up from 213,400,000 a year ago.
  • The number of consumer complaints about unwanted telemarketing calls decreased from more than 3,700,000 (FY13) to about 3,200,000 (FY14).

National Do Not Call Registry Data Book FY 2014

Hold that thought

There is a temporary moratorium on entering new data from our third-party data contributors into Consumer Sentinel during preparation of the 2014 CSN Data Book. We will resume data entry in mid-February, beginning with any complaints received during the moratorium.

Member training

The Consumer Sentinel Network team has held outreach and training sessions for nearly 60 law enforcers from U.S. consumer protection agencies since December. Want to learn how to get the data in Sentinel to work for you? Email to attend the next online training.

Dishing it out

A U.S. District Court has found Dish Network liable for tens of millions of calls that violated federal law. The opinion, which was issued on December 12, represents a partial summary judgment win in the case the Department of Justice filed on behalf of the FTC against Dish in March 2009. The FTC’s complaint alleges that Dish made – or caused a telemarketer to make outbound calls to numbers on the DNC Registry. The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed the complaint at the FTC’s request in March 2009 and is jointly trying the case with four state co-plaintiffs California, Illinois, Ohio, and North Carolina. The states allege that Dish violated the law by calling numbers on the Do Not Call Registry and by making telemarketing robocalls. The court has scheduled the trial to begin in July to resolve several remaining issues.


Do you work with Spanish-speaking communities? You’ll want to order our free graphic novels, or fotonovelas. Available online and in print, they’re flying off the shelves – we’ve distributed more than 151,000 copies of the first two: Impostores del Gobierno (Government Imposters) and Estafa de Ingresos (Income Scams). The latest, Cobradores de Deuda (Debt Collectors), focuses on what debt collectors can (and can’t) do when collecting a debt. View all three at or order print copies at

New data contributors

The Massachusetts Attorney General is now the 20th state to share complaint data with CSN. Does your office gather consumer complaint data? You can help fellow Consumer Sentinel members boost their law enforcement capabilities by sharing those complaints with us. Contact for details.


Sentinel welcomes new members from three states: California (Chino Police Department, Detective Bureau), New York (State Office of the Attorney General, Charities Bureau), and Texas (Department of Public Safety, Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division).


Share any of FTC’s free resources and tips in your programs, on your website, and with your social networks.


Order free FTC materials at

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