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FTC Action Halts Telemarketing Scheme In Arizona

An Arizona court imposed an $11.8 million judgment and an injunction against a telemarketing company Thursday. The order comes after a multiyear and multistate investigation.

The FTC complaint said the telemarketing company Paramount Business Services and three individuals charged consumers nationwide thousands of dollars and falsely promised to create a retail website that linked to Amazon.

Elsie Kappler is an attorney with the FTC and said telemarketing scams are still prevalent in the internet age because they are successful at targeting a certain consumer.

"Telemarketers can be very persuasive. And the ones in this case knew exactly how to take advantage of people who were in a tight spot financially. The victims here were elderly, in addition to people who were saddled with medical bills and debt," Kappler said.

The FTC's investigation revealed the scam spanned 2015 and 2016. The penalties include a judgment of more than $11.8 million and an injunction that bars any use of consumer information the defendants gathered.

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Heather van Blokland was a host at KJZZ from 2016 to 2021.