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FTC takes action against "free cruise" phone calls

Norwegian Cruise Line is giving away free cruises to teachers
Posted at 2:31 PM, Jan 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-13 14:33:46-05

INDIANAPOLIS — You get a phone call that promises tickets to a "free cruise," but there's a catch.

Sound familiar?

The Federal Trade Commission announced it had filed charges against the operator of a "free cruise" telemarketing scheme that allegedly made millions of illegal robocalls and dialed numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry.

The callers also faked caller ID information, so it looked like the call was coming from a local number, according to the FTC.

The lawsuit, filed against Grand Bahama Cruise Line LLC, the Cabb Group and other individuals in federal court, seeks to bar them from making robocalls permanently.

Consumers told the FTC they were asked to take a phone survey, and then referred to live telemarketers who tried to get them to pay for cruise extensions and other upgrades, plus $59 in port taxes and fees for each person on the cruise.

Call 6 Investigates was unable to reach Grand Bahama or the cruise line for comment.

The FTC says If you're getting lots of these robocalls, odds are the calls are illegal.

If you get an illegal robocall:

  • Hang up. Don't press any numbers. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, but it might lead to more robocalls, instead.
  • Report it to the FTC at donotcall.gov. The FTC takes the phone numbers you report and releases them to the public each business day. This helps phone carriers and other partners that are working on call-blocking solutions. Your reports also help law enforcement identify the people behind the illegal calls.