If you're one of the millions of consumers who got robocalls pitching special deals at Marriott hotels or using the company's name in other ways, the hotel giant hopes you didn't bite—the offers were fake.
And if you are the scammers, Marriott plans to hunt you down and take you down in court. The company, tired of having people associate it with the scams, has hired two expert companies, one of them an FCC anti-robocall contractor, to identify the sources of the calls. In the meantime, it has gone into Federal District Court in Virginia to file a lawsuit against one or more John Does.
"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."
Despite new anti-spam technology, the volume of robocalls in the U.S. has been rising; Marriott's action is one of the few corporate fightbacks so far. In 2020, the total of robocalls hit 18 billion, and so far in 2021 the number has already blown past 7 billion. Of last year's calls, Marriott says over 7 million a month claimed to be from the company.