Marriott International Files Lawsuit to Combat Fraudulent Robocalls
Company acts to protect customers and its brand in seeking an end to abusive and illegal practice
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) today filed a lawsuit in federal court in Virginia against the unknown perpetrators (“John Does”) responsible for illegal and fraudulent “robocalls” misusing Marriott’s name. The suit claims these bad actors are using Marriott’s brand for their own commercial gain in violation of state and federal laws. Marriott will aggressively pursue the identities of the robocallers to halt these illegal acts affecting Marriott customers and others.
“Marriott has undertaken this federal lawsuit against illegal robocalls primarily to protect our customers, but also to protect our brand name and intellectual property,” said Stephanie Linnartz, President, Marriott International. “Marriott’s fight will not stop with the filing of today’s complaint– we will continue to consider and leverage all tools at our disposal to identify and bring to justice the bad actors behind these illegal and fraudulent robocalls.”
Marriott leveraged the capabilities of two industry leaders in the fight against illegal robocalls: the Industry Traceback Group (ITG) and YouMail, Inc. The ITG, which is designated by the Federal Communications Commission as the official robocall traceback consortium, rapidly identifies the origination point of illegal robocalls. YouMail, a company that protects consumers with app-based call protection services, identifies problematic numbers and robocalls using a combination of its recently patented audio fingerprinting technology, call patterns, and consumer feedback. Marriott is working together with both the ITG and YouMail to identify the perpetrators and track their activity.
On December 3, 2020, Marriott updated and re-issued a public statement to confirm that Marriott is not responsible for the fraudulent robocalls, nor has it authorized them. Marriott has received many consumer complaints about fraudulent robocalls mentioning Marriott, leading the company to file this lawsuit to halt the deceptive and abusive telemarketing acts, practices and trademark violations. In addition to the lawsuit, Marriott has provided information about the ongoing scam to the Federal Trade Commission and made clear that the Company will work with regulators in their efforts to stop these illegal robocalls.
How Consumers Can Protect Themselves
There are a number of steps consumers can take to help protect themselves from these illegal and fraudulent robocalls:
- Know the facts:
- If you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person, it's a robocall.
- Marriott is not associated with and does not authorize any robocalls using prerecorded messages.
- Marriott has not and will not provide any contact or personal information to the perpetrators making these fraudulent phone calls.
- What should I do if I receive a robocall?
- Do not provide any personal or credit card information.
- End the call immediately.
- Report robocalls to the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.
- Contact your phone company to learn more about the blocking and labeling solutions that may be available to protect you from unwanted and illegal calls.
For more information on phone scams, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer information page.
About Marriott International
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of roughly 7,800 properties under 30 leading brands spanning 138 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company offers Marriott Bonvoy®, its highly-awarded travel program. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.