MAYNARDVILLE (WATE) - Every year thousands of people lose lots of money after receiving a fraudulent letter claiming a big cash prize awaits them.
When a letter arrived the other day at the home of a Maynardville woman, she thought it was a hoax.
Many robocalls are made during the campaign season. It's legitimate - politicians and companies use audodialers that can send thousands of phone calls in one minute.
They're so annoying that complaints to the FTC about robocalls quadrupled from 2010 to 2012.
In December of last year, new rules took effect as the FTC cracked down to restrict robocalls, and recently, class action lawsuits have been filed, alleging some companies violated previous telemarketing rules.
"I was just a little iffy about it," Betty Walton of Maynardville said.
Walton was suspicious when she received a letter the other day claiming she was eligible for up to $100 in a class-action lawsuit against ADT, the security company, for allegedly making robocalls.
Walton said she received several of the calls, but doesn't remember when.
According to the correspondence, one robo call to her home was made Feb. 17, 2011. She remembers others.
"Basically saying, 'Do you have ADT? There are a lot of break-ins in your area. We suggest that you take this service'," she said.
The class-action suit is legitimate and questions for potential plaintiffs are outlined in the letter sent to Walton and others across the country.
"It gives you information about just about everything. What are my options. What rights am I given in this settlement?" Walton said.
The letter asks for no personal information, just for her to answer some questions.
"I'm going to go ahead and give them the information and see what happens with it," she said.
ADT's corporate office tells 6 On Your Side, yes, it is part of the class-action lawsuit, but ADT says it does not use prerecorded telemarketing messages and was not responsible for making or authorizing any calls.
However, because litigation is time-consuming an expensive, ADT has decided to resolve this matter.
If you have a consumer issue, call the 6 On Your Side Hotline at 865-633-5974 or email email@example.com.