Apple, Amazon and FPL used in robocall fraud schemes

YouMail Inc. joining State Attorney General to prosecute major brand imposters

Intimidating robocall messages that claim to be from major brands like Apple, Amazon and Norton Security have prompted state attorney generals in North Carolina and Michigan to form a partnership with California-based YouMail Inc. to trace and prosecute phone carriers and the people behind the calls.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Intimidating robocall messages that claim to be from major brands like Apple, Amazon and Norton Security have prompted state attorney generals in North Carolina and Michigan to form a partnership with California-based YouMail Inc. to trace and prosecute phone carriers and the people behind the calls.

The new system is called Robocall Index and used by consumers to determine when brands like social media and e-commerce companies, government agencies and top hotel chains are the target of robocalls.

[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

Here in Florida, customers with Florida Power & Light have been receiving robocalls claiming to be from the FPL notification department.

The recorded message uses a woman’s voice reading a sort of “pay or else” message.

”Your account is scheduled for an automatic disconnection in the next 30 to 45 minutes,” the voice says.

No matter what brand is used, the calls usually stress that you need to provide banking information or a credit card to pay a bill.

In the Norton robocall message, the voice issues a reminder call which says, “Your Norton 365 auto renewal for the amount of $382.12.”

YouMail Inc. CEO Alex Quilici said robocalls have evolved into a “very effective channel for theft.”

Quilici has been leading the charge to block unwanted robocalls from Florida to California with an estimated 10 million consumers using the free YouMail app to protect their phone numbers from scam and spam calls.

“There are imposters for almost every brand,” Quilici told News 6. “We can trace them back to where they started and provide evidence that can be used to shut down the imposters and even go after them in court.”

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein recently filed a lawsuit against a carrier linked to more than one dozen telecom companies. The state argued the company was allegedly connecting millions of bogus robocalls that claimed to be with the Social Security Administration, Amazon, Apple and Google.

In the lawsuit Stein argued that the “captured recordings suggest these calls are perpetrating a serious fraud.”

That evidence was gathered from data recorded from YouMail app customers in North Carolina .

According to Quilici, as more consumers join the YouMail app network, the company gathers more data to share with law enforcement agencies and companies already monitoring incidents of imposters using their brand in robocalls.

“For enterprises, we can actually monitor their brand in the telephone network and see when imposters are using that brand and then work to shut those calls down,” Quilici said.

YouMail data researchers report that roughly 4 billion robocalls were placed nationwide In May, amounting to about 12.2 calls per person every day.

According to the YouMail Robocall Index, Orlando had the highest number of robocalls in Florida in May, registering more than 48 million calls. Miami had more than 43 million calls, followed by Tampa with about 42 million calls, Ft. Lauderdale with around 37 million calls and Jacksonville with more than 24 million calls.

For more information on the Robocall Index, click here.

To sign up for the YouMail app go to their website.


About the Author:

News 6’s Emmy Award-winning Investigative Reporter Mike Holfeld has made Central Florida history with major investigations that have led to new policies, legislative proposals and even -- state and national laws. If you have an issue or story idea, call Mike's office at 407-521-1322.