Do-not-call list swells to 8.6M numbers in Ohio

Published: Saturday, October 20, 2012 @ 11:00 PM
Updated: Saturday, October 20, 2012 @ 11:00 PM

DO NOT CALL MY PHONE

The number of Ohio phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry swelled to about 8.6 million this year, up 400,000 number in 2011. Telemarketers are not allowed to make sales calls before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. They are not allowed to use an automated system to call or send text messages to cell phones. Here’s a list for region’s main area code numbers.

2010 2011 2012

937 area code 945,374 985,175 1 million

Complaints 7,677 9,848 19,450

513 area code 1.06 million 1.11 million 1.15 million

Complaints 9,400 13,307 28,122

Ohio phones 7.9 million 8.2 million 8.6 million

Complaints 59,759 90,592 178,544

Note: Fiscal years

SOURCE: Federal Trade Commission

More Ohioans and local residents are seeking relief from telemarketing sales calls by signing up with the National Do Not Call Registry.

But despite a rise in registrations, complaints related to unwanted telemarketing and robocalls have soared across the region and the state, according to new data.

Consumer advocates said it is illegal for most telemarketers and sales companies to phone people on the do-not-call list. They said many companies that continue to call numbers on the registry are scammers. Officials urge Ohioans to file complaints against companies that are not complying with federal law, because authorities can seek legal action and penalties against violators.

“We realize it is an issue,” said Marty Berkowitz, spokesman with the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel. “Consumers need to follow the complaint process.”

The number of Ohio phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry swelled to about 8.6 million this year, up 400,000 numbers from a year ago, according to the Federal Trade Commission. For phone numbers with a 937 area code, registrations increased to 1 million this year, compared to 985,175 in 2011 and 945,375 in 2010. In the 513 area code, registrations increased to 1.15 million this year, up 40,000 from a year ago.

The registry provides consumers with the opportunity to limit the number of telemarketing calls they receive. Consumers simply register a phone number, and within 31 days, most telemarketers are supposed to update their calls lists and remove registered number.

“Once you are on the list, telemarketers should be checking it,” Berkowitz said.

But some companies are not following the law.

In the 937 area code, complaints related to unwanted and pre-recorded sales calls from people who joined the registry increased to 19,450 this fiscal year, more than double the amount from a year ago. In the 513 area code, complaints rose to 69,600 this year, compared to 48,010 a year ago. In Ohio, complaints rose to 178,545, compared to 90,600 last year.

A large part of the increase in complaints is related to scams and fraudulent businesses that are using communication technology through the Internet to call consumers, said Will Maxson, the FTC’s program manager for Do Not Call Enforcement.

Voice over Internet Protocol allows scammers to have virtually no start-up costs, operate anywhere in the world and display fake phone numbers on caller-IDs, he said.

“If you are on the Do Not Call Registry and receive a sales call, you should be extremely suspicious of that call because in all likelihood it violates our rules and is an illegal call,” Maxson said. “Don’t listen to these people, don’t buy what they are selling, hang up on them, do not press 1 or 2, and report them to us.”

Consumers can file complaints with the FTC, the Federal Communications Commission and the Ohio Attorney General’s office, which has the authority to enforce federal telemarketing laws. Businesses that violate the law can be forced to pay thousands of dollars for each improper call they placed. Consumers can also file complaints against telemarketers in small claims courts for up to $2,000 in damages, Berkowitz said.

Earlier this year, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine sued California-based CTI Group for calling Ohio consumers on the registry and violating consumer laws, the office said.

“Even if telemarketers are located in another state, they still have to comply with Ohio consumer laws in order to do business here,” DeWine said in a prepared statement.

Officials said consumers have rights, and telemarketers should respect them.

Telemarketers are required to say the name of the company they represent and also provide a description and cost of the product they are selling. They are also required to disclose their telephone number and name through a caller ID service.

Telemarketers are not allowed to make sales calls before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. They are not allowed to use an automated system to call or send text messages to cell phones. They cannot use recorded messages if they do not have an established business relationship with the person they are calling.

People can file a Do Not Call or fraud complaint at 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Cooler, fall temperatures start to approach Miami Valley 

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 3:39 AM


Staff Writer
(Staff Writer)

RELATED: Dayton Interactive Radar - WHIO Doppler 7

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Warm and dry start to weekend
  • Cooling off next week
  • Showers return late Sunday night

RELATED: Touchdown 7 Forecast: Week 9

DETAILED FORECAST

TODAY: A beautiful end to Friday. It’ll be cool in the morning, but warm for the afternoon. Highs should be in the low 60s and we will climb to the mid-70s today. Plenty of sunshine again with it falling into the 60s for football Friday.

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini)

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini)

RELATED: When to see meteor shower this weekend in the Miami Valley

SATURDAY: A very mild start to the weekend. Wake up temperatures in the 50s and climbing into the upper 70s for the afternoon. Highs will be about 15 degrees warmer than normal. Lots of sunshine and dry. 

RELATED: 5-Day Forecast

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini)

SUNDAY: Becoming a little breezy, but overall the day will be nice and warm with highs in the mid to upper 70s. Clouds increase into the night as a cold front approaches, but rain should hold off until very late Sunday.

RELATED:  Fall colors near peak 

MONDAY: A few showers and gusty winds possible for Monday. Temperatures will start to drop as well with highs in the upper 60s. We’ll also experience cloudy skies.

RELATED: County-by-County Weather 

TUESDAY: Cloudy and cooler for Tuesday. We could see a few more showers, especially east. Highs will be in the upper 50s, which is finally cooler than normal.              

WHIO Weather App                                              

Florida teacher accused of molesting 13-year-old girl

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 5:16 AM

Sonny Juarez, left, and  Felipe Diaz Hernandez.
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
Sonny Juarez, left, and Felipe Diaz Hernandez.(Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office)

A Florida teacher and another man have been arrested after being accused of molesting a 13-year-old girl in a school classroom, Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies said. 

>> Read more trending news

Teacher and soccer coach, Sonny Juarez, 29, faces charges of lewd and lascivious molestation, which occurred between November 2016 until March 2017, WFLA reported. 

Juarez, who taught at RCMA Academy in Wimauma, allegedly molested the girl for five months on campus in the back of the classroom while she was pregnant, according to deputies. 

Investigators told WFLA that another man, Felipe Diaz Hernandez, 54, also abused and sexually battered the girl, and is the man who got her pregnant. The victim gave birth to a baby girl in September, WFLA reported. 

Juarez has since been fired from the school and was released from the county jail on a $15,000 bond. Hernandez faces charges of child abuse and sexual battery. He remains in jail on a $600,000 bond, according to jail records. 

Bridgewater Falls clothing store offering discounts before closing

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 5:13 AM


            Crazy 8, a low-cost children’s clothing retailer that opened at Bridgewater Falls in 2012, will close Oct. 28. STAFF FILE PHOTO
Crazy 8, a low-cost children’s clothing retailer that opened at Bridgewater Falls in 2012, will close Oct. 28. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Crazy 8, a low-cost children’s clothing retailer that opened at Bridgewater Falls in 2012, will close Oct. 28.

MORE: Children’s clothing retailer closing 350 stores, including some locally

Prices for all items at the store switch from 75 percent off to 80 percent off starting today, Oct. 20, according to store officials.

Crazy 8 and children’s designer clothing stores Janie and Jack are part of Gymboree, a San Francisco-based children’s clothing retailer that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June and confirmed it will close 350 of its 1,281 stores.

White nationalist Richard Spencer jeered by University of Florida crowd

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 2:19 AM

White nationalist Richard Spencer speaks during a news  conference at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Gainesville, Florida. Spencer delivered a speech on the college campus, his first since he and others participated in the
White nationalist Richard Spencer speaks during a news conference at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Gainesville, Florida. Spencer delivered a speech on the college campus, his first since he and others participated in the "Unite the Right" rally, which turned violent in Charlottesville, Virginia.(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

White nationalist Richard Spencer’s speech at the University of Florida was cut short Thursday by chants, jeering and shouting, Gainesville.com reported.

>> Read more trending news

Spencer spoke at an afternoon event at the university’s Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, but cut his scheduled two-hour appearance shortened by 25 minutes after having to yell over a heckling crowd, Gainesville.com reported.

“I feel sorry for you,” Spencer told the crowd. “Do you know how this is going to be read? Do you think this is going to be read as ‘great victory for U of F’? No, it’s going to be read as the University of Florida is filled with child-like antifa, who shout at people as opposed to talking to them.”

>> Who is Richard Spencer? 5 things to know about white nationalist

The event brought nearly 2,500 protesters to the university, and 500 tickets were distributed for the event in the 1,700-seat theater. Police in riot gear stood on the second level of the Phillips Center, and several rows remained empty, separating Spencer supporters from protesters, Gainesville.com reported.

The university spent an estimated $600,000 for security for the event, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in advance of Spencer’s speech.

Spencer spent the first half hour arguing and trying to be heard above the crowd, which chanted “Black Lives Matter,” “Let’s go, Gators,” and “Go Home, Spencer,” Gainesville.com reported.

Spencer called the crowd “babies” and “pathetic” and their chants “stupid.”

“Oh, Nazis have no right to speak, really?” he asked the crowd. “So, you don’t believe in free speech at all, do you?”

Spencer opened up the floor for questions earlier than expected, Gainesville.com reported.

The first question: “Why are you still here?”

A few dozen in the crowd supported Spencer and his organization, the National Policy Institute, although most declined to comment to the media.

As the event ended, Spencer thanked the university for allowing him to speak, but chastised the crowd, saying UF “failed” its test of allowing free speech, Gainesville.com reported.

“You think that you shut me down, well you didn’t,” Spencer said. “You failed at your own game ... The world is not going to be proud of you.

Some of social media also chastised the Florida crowd. Columnist Ben Shapiro called the students “dumb,” saying  “You gave Spencer what he wanted. You should have left him an empty auditorium.”

In a telephone interview after the speech, Spencer described the appearance as "frustrating and exhilarating at the same time." 

"I'm inspired that we persevered against totally thuggish behavior," he told The Washington Post. "Screaming at the top of your lungs is the same as trying to bar the door."