FCC proposes record $300 million fine against robocallers after making 5 BILLION calls

‘We’ve been trying to reach you about your car’s warranty’: FCC could hit robocall firm that made over 5 BILLION scam calls in three months with $300 million fine

  • The FCC is set to impose its largest fine ever, almost $300 million, on a robocall company that made 5 billion scam calls in three months 
  • That’s enough scam calls, which prompted consumers to renew their auto warranties, to ‘have called each person in the United States 15 times’ 
  • The robocall operation was run by Roy Cox, Jr. and Michael Aaron Jones via their Sumco Panama company and other domestic and foreign entities 

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed what would be its largest fine ever – just under $300 million – against the biggest robocall company that it’s ever investigated. 

The company made a staggering 5 billion scam calls over the course of three months last year, which the agency notes is enough to ‘have called each person in the United States 15 times.’

Since the robocallers met the definition for ‘egregious violations,’ the FCC decided to impose its largest fine ever: $299,997,000. 

Consumers were subjected to relentless calls that often began with something like: ‘We’ve been trying to reach you concerning your car’s extended warranty,’ and then prompting them to speak with a ‘warranty specialist’ about the matter. 

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed what would be its largest fine ever – just under $300 million – against the biggest robocall company that it’s ever investigated

People used the terms ‘incessant’ and ‘harassment’ to describe the calls, the FCC says. 

‘We will be relentless in pursing the groups behind these schemes by limiting their access to U.S. communications networks and holding them to account for their conduct,’ said Enforcement Bureau Chief Loyaan A. Egal in a statement

‘This latest action by the Commission further exemplifies the benefits of our working relationships with federal and state law enforcement partners, including the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, to combat illegal robocalls.’

The robocall operation was run by Roy Cox, Jr. and Michael Aaron Jones via their Sumco Panama company and other domestic and foreign entities. 

The operation violated both spoofing and robocalling provisions of the law. Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, robocalls to mobile phones require consent from the called party – and if those calls involve telemarketing that consent must be in writing. 

Under the Truth in Caller ID Act, spoofing is prohibited when it’s done to cause harm, either by tracking or defrauding consumers. 

In this instance, many of the robocalls originated from foreign dialing entities, but they used the neighbor spoofing tactic that made the caller ID appear local to American consumers. 

In addition, the calls misrepresented the service being offered and made false or misleading statements to try and induce certain behaviors.  

The proposed fine is significantly higher than the FCC's previous record of $225 million against a telemarketer based in Texas in 2021. Other fines could be in the pipeline

The proposed fine is significantly higher than the FCC’s previous record of $225 million against a telemarketer based in Texas in 2021. Other fines could be in the pipeline

In July of this year, the FCC took initial steps against the operation by issuing the agency’s first-ever ‘K4 notice’ and ‘N2 order’ – which are actions that directed all U.S.-based voice service providers to stop carrying specified traffic related to the auto warranty scam calls. 

That order resulted in a 99% drop in the volume of such calls since June, according to RoboKiller

The proposed fine is significantly higher than the FCC’s previous record of $225 million against a telemarketer based in Texas in 2021. Other fines could be in the pipeline, as the agency has also taken action against a voice service provider called Urth Access – to which is traced almost 40% of student loan debt relief scam calls in October.  

The scam calls have gotten so bad that studies show many Americans simply refuse to answer the phone. 

The company made a staggering 5 billion scam calls over the course of three months last year, which the agency notes is enough to 'have called each person in the United States 15 times'

The company made a staggering 5 billion scam calls over the course of three months last year, which the agency notes is enough to ‘have called each person in the United States 15 times’


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