WTOC Investigates: Automated robocalls - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

WTOC Investigates: Automated robocalls

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

The number of automated calls is increasing, offering a wide range of products, deals and promises. They are hitting land lines and your cell phones.

A new one makes various promises, hyping an investment opportunity in a new product, but offers no information on the product or company after a five minute automated call.

WTOC broke down the mystery call and did some digging. It's not from Savannah or anywhere near by. The call gives another number to call back, which is answered by the same man with another five minute message telling you everything it claims it is not, but doesn't tell you what product it wants you to learn about, the company involved, or even who is calling you.

"This is not network marketing or a pyramid scheme. This is a real opportunity we came up with several months ago," the man on the phone says during the recorded message.

WTOC called in Ross Howard from the non-profit consumer safety group, Consumer D.I., to help dissect the nearly five minute automated call.

"This is such a unique product, it can be used in many areas of our lives," the message continues.

No name given. No product information. No location. Plus, promises of a free lunch or dinner if you just agree to listen to a two hour presentation. The man claims a plant to manufacture this mystery product will open in Orlando, Florida in the coming months employing 200 people.

However, the area code for the number is based out of Cleveland, Ohio. A Google search of the number, and several consumer-related question pages shows one woman who spoke to the company, and had little luck learning anything other than setting up a presentation and free meal at a local Golden Corral.

"All of these are red flags. How can you check out a company or product with only a phone number," Howard told WTOC.

"We even use NASA engineers to assist with the design," the robocall continued.

"For some reason, with many scams, they love to use NASA. NASA is a buzz word," Howard said.

"I am one of the executive administrators and are excited to have a free luncheon or dinner," the message continues. "Because time is money we ask you leave your wallet at home. You will be our guest and not pay for anything."

"Although they say leave your wallet at home, you will be asked for money at the end," Howard said.

He was right.

"Obviously, there is an investment on your end but no more than a family vacation costs," the robocall message claims.

WTOC went ahead and pressed to speak with the gentleman. The call is transferred to the caller's "desk." Another message says he will be with you momentarily, but a different person eventually answered the phone. 

After another quick pitch, WTOC asked the man what the name of the company was. He said Dang-Air. When WTOC asked for information about the company and the mystery product, he would only say "a patent is pending and cannot offer more information."

No more information available. Our Google search of "Dang-Air" turned up a Facebook page, with an Orlando address, but the page only has one "Like" and was created on Oct. 27.

The page has even less information. Howard says just hang up when you get these calls.

"Too many promises. Not enough information," he said. "When there are promises made about a large amount of money or little work, the federal Trade Commission expects that company to have information to back up their words."

In this case, not much is known, or offered, at all.

It does offer the option to press x and be added to their "do not call" list. Howard says, just hang up.

"Many times, if you press that button, you just opened the door to more robocalls and more mystery companies to call your phone," Howard said.

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