Dear Consumer Action:

I keep getting calls telling me the expiration date on my car warranty is almost here, and another company calls all the time offering to lower my credit card interest rates.

I have pushed the buttons to get off the calling lists, but it hasn't worked.

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I don't drive or own a car, and I don't have credit cards, yet they keep calling. Can you stop these people from calling us? - S.S., Vineland

If only this column could stop those unbelievably annoying and persistent callers, who are violating federal and state laws by calling numbers on the federal Do Not Call list, and by using unrestricted automated-call technology.

But the Federal Trade Commission may be able to stop them.

Last week, it sued a company it believes is responsible for the random, pre-recorded phone calls designed to deceive consumers into thinking their vehicle warranties are about to run out.

Judge John F. Grady, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, issued a temporary restraining order stopping telemarketing company Voice Touch Inc., its principals James and Maureen Dunne, its business partner Network Foundations LLC and Network Foundations principal Damian Kohlfeld from making any further calls in violation of the Do Not Call registry and other provisions of the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the FTC Act.

"Today the FTC has disconnected the people responsible for so many of these annoying robocalls," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a written statement. "We expect to see a dramatic decrease in deceptive auto warranty calls, but we are still on high alert."

If consumers continue to receive unsolicited robocalls to numbers on the Do Not Call registry, they should report them to

In a related matter filed by the FTC, Grady also issued a temporary restraining order against automobile warranty sales company Transcontinental Warranty Inc. and its CEO and president, Christopher Cowart, who are clients of Voice Touch.

The court barred deceptive claims about extended warranties, froze the defendants' assets and appointed receivers over Transcontinental and Network Foundations to ensure that documents are preserved and assets are not dissipated.

The restraining orders are in effect until a preliminary injunction hearing set for May 29, at which time the judge will reassess what type of restrictions should remain in place until the case goes to trial.

Gold gone

Dear Consumer Action:

My granddaughter borrowed three gold chains to wear out to dinner. Weeks went by and she hadn't returned them. When I confronted her, she stated someone had stolen them from her house, which she shares with her boyfriend.

A week later I looked in my jewelry box and every piece of gold jewelry was gone. The value of what I lost is more than $1,000.

I filed a police report saying my granddaughter was the last person in my apartment to look at my jewelry, but she has never been called in for questioning, even though I stated in the report that she is a suspect because she has a drug problem.

How can she steal from someone and get away with it? - B.P., Little Egg Harbor Township

This is a criminal matter, so you have to keep working with the police on it. You have suspicions about your granddaughter, but they may not rise to the level the police need to take action. The fact that you voluntarily lent her some of the jewelry no doubt complicates the case as well.

Others can learn from the mistakes you made in lending her your gold jewelry and allowing her to see where it was kept. No matter how close someone may be to you, if you know someone has a drug problem or simply isn't trustworthy for other reasons, you must protect yourself by not sharing such information with them.

You do not mention if there are others in the family who might help you talk with her about what happened. If you can enlist such help, consider it.

Consumer Action will respond to each properly submitted letter about a problem or question, either in this column or by letter or phone. Letters must include copies - not originals - of all relevant documentation and a name, address and phone number at which you can be reached. Send letters to: Consumer Action, The Press, 11 Devins Lane, Pleasantville, NJ 08232.


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