1,000 Telemarketers Charged With Running Scams

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Approximately 1,000 telemarketers were charged with fraud after federal and state law enforcement agencies ended what they are calling the largest crackdown on telemarketing scams ever. In the two and a half year investigation, dubbed "Double Barrel", law enforcement agencies taped telemarketers allegedly soliciting elderly people in a variety of scams.

Nearly 800 individuals face federal criminal charges, while 194, face state criminal charges. The enforcement agencies involved included the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 35 state attorneys general and federal prosecutors. In concert, the law enforcement community tracked telemarketers offering everything from employment opportunities to foreign exchange investments.

The Association of American Retired People also assisted in the investigation.

According to published reports, it is also alleged that scam artists posed as government officials to help their victims recover lost money for a fee. The accused telemarketers were also accused of getting credit card numbers under false pretenses along with thousands of dollars in cash.

In addition to monitoring calls, undercover officers posed as people who were previously defrauded. According to officials, once a person is defrauded they are considered a likely target for a second scam.

Reportedly, Attorney General Janet Reno said the investigation will continue.

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