A nationwide telemarketer of mortgage loans has been sued by the Federal Trade Commission for allegedly calling people whose numbers are listed on the National Do Not Call Registry, and doing so without identifying itself, the FTC said Monday.

The FTC is seeking civil penalties and an injunction against the telemarketer for alleged violations of the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule, the agency said. This is the Commission’s first case alleging transmission of false caller ID information, according to the agency.

According to the FTC complaint, Srikanth Venkataraman, formerly of New Jersey, has been doing business as Scorpio Systems Ltd., selling mortgage loans, refinancing, and other products and services.

Attempts to reach Venkataraman for comment were unsuccessful.

The complaint was filed at the FTC’s request by the U. S. Department of Justice in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on April 26, 2006.

The FTC alleged that Scorpio called numbers on the Do Not Call Registry, failed to transmit its telephone number and name to consumers’ caller identification service, and failed to pay the fee required to access the Registry.

The telemarketer allegedly transmitted either no caller ID or a phony caller ID – 234-567-8923 – and, as a result, consumers were unable to contact the telemarketer to stop unwanted telemarketing calls, the FTC said.


Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to janis@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 140.

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