The FCC proposes a record $300 million fine against robocallers after 5 billion calls were made.
‘We were trying to reach you on your car warranty’: FCC may hit robocall company that made more than 5 billion fraud calls in three months with $300 million fine
- The FCC is set to impose its largest fine ever, nearly $300 million, on a robocall that made 5 billion fraud calls in three months.
- These are enough scam calls, which have prompted consumers to renew their auto warranties, to “call everyone in the US 15 times.”
- Operation robocall was run by Roy Cox, Jr. and Michael Aaron Jones via their Sumco Panama Corporation and other domestic and foreign entities
The FCC has proposed its largest fine ever — just under $300 million — against the largest robocall company ever investigated.
The company made a staggering 5 billion scam calls over three months last year, which the agency notes is enough to “call everyone in the US 15 times.”
Because the robocallers met the definition of “flagrant violations,” the FCC decided to impose its largest fine ever: $299,997,000.
Consumers have been subjected to relentless calls that often start with something like, “We’ve been trying to reach you about your car’s extended warranty,” and then urge them to talk to a “warranty specialist” about it.
The FCC has proposed its largest ever fine — just under $300 million — against the largest robocall company ever investigated.
The FCC says people have used the terms “persistent” and “harassing” to describe the calls.
“We will work relentlessly in pursuing the groups behind these schemes by restricting their access to US communications networks and holding them accountable for their behavior,” Law Enforcement Chief Louian Egal said in a statement.
“This latest action by the Commission also exemplifies the benefits of our working relationships with state and federal law enforcement partners, including the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, to combat illegal robocalls.”
Operation robocall was run by Roy Cox, Jr. and Michael Aaron Jones via their Sumco Panama Corporation and other domestic and foreign entities.
The operation violated both the fraud and theft provisions of the law. Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, automated calls to cell phones require consent from the called party—and if those calls involve telemarketing, consent must be in writing.
Under the Truth in Caller ID Act, plagiarism is prohibited when done to cause harm, either by tracking or defrauding consumers.
In this case, many of the robocalls originated from foreign calling entities, but used a neighbor impersonation tactic that made the caller ID appear local to US consumers.
In addition, the calls misrepresented the service provided and made false or misleading statements to attempt to incite certain behaviors.
The proposed fine is much higher than the previous FCC record of $225 million against a telemarketer in Texas in 2021. Other fines may be in the works.
In July of this year, the FCC took initial steps against the process by issuing the agency’s first-ever “K4 Notice” and “N2 Request” — actions that directed all U.S. voice service providers to stop carrying traffic. Specific related to automatic warranty fraud calls.
This request has resulted in a 99% decrease in the volume of such calls since June, according to RoboKiller.
The proposed fine is much higher than the FCC’s previous record of $225 million against a telemarketer based in Texas in 2021. Other fines may be in the pipeline, as the agency has also taken action against a voice service provider called Urth Access — which has tracked what Almost 40% of student loan debt forgiveness scam calls in October.
Scam calls have gotten so bad that studies have shown that many Americans simply refuse to answer the phone.
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The company made a staggering 5 billion scam calls over three months last year, which the agency notes is enough to “call every person in the US 15 times.”
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