The U.S. Justice Department lawsuits said most of the calls originated in India and used voice over internet protocol (VoIP) carriers, which use internet connections instead of traditional copper phone lines.
U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue, who overseas the Eastern District of New York office, said that for the first time, the Justice Department was targeting “U.S.-based enablers” and seeking temporary restraining orders to block further calls.
The government said the firms were warned numerous times they were carrying fraudulent robocalls.
The Justice Department alleged TollFreeDeals.com carried 720 million calls during one 23-day period, and that more than 425 million of those calls lasted less than one second, which suggests they were robocalls.
In 2019, the Federal Trade Commission received nearly 400,000 complaints allegedly imposter fraud claims of $152.9 million, which the Justice Department said “substantially underestimates the extent” of fraud because many do not report losses.