'American Idol' Scam Charges Settled

Share this content:
A group of companies accused of operating toll-free numbers similar to those used by consumers to vote for "American Idol" performers has agreed to pay a $40,000 civil penalty to settle fraud charges, the Federal Trade Commission said yesterday.

The three companies and their principals bought numbers that varied only slightly from the real "American Idol" numbers, switching digits in some cases or using a different prefix, the FTC said. Consumers who inadvertently called those were told they had to call a 900 number and pay fees to vote.

Consumers who called the 900 number received instructions to call the real toll-free numbers used by "American Idol," the FTC said. During the show's 2002 season, those callers paid $1.99 per call, and the price increased to $2.97 per call in the 2003 season.

Charged in the complaint were Telemarketing Inc., Apex Investments and Universal Innovations, all based in Utah. Three individuals, including two officers of Telemarketing Inc., also were named in the complaint.


Next Article in Marketing Strategy

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above