FCC issues major enforcement actions to combat robocalls

FCC issues major enforcement actions to combat robocalls
Van Andel shows the AT&T app that filters spam calls for customers. (Source: KLTV)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Federal Communications Commission is cracking down on the use of spoofed local numbers to make unwanted robocalls.

The FCC recently issued two major enforcement actions to combat caller ID spoofing. An Arizona telemarketer is facing a $37.5 million proposed fine, and a North Carolina robocaller faces an $82 million fine.

“Unwanted calls generate the most consumer complaints to the FCC and today we are sending a message,” Ajit Pai, FCC Chairman said.

The FCC said Affordable Enterprises of Arizona made millions of illegally-spoofed telemarketing calls that appeared to originate from consumers and other numbers not assigned to the company.

Pai said the Tucson-based company made more than 2.3 million maliciously-spoofed telemarketing calls, all of which went to Arizonans, during a 14-month span starting in 2016, claiming to sell home improvement and remodeling services.

The FCC added telemarketer Phillip Roesel, (doing business as Wilmington Insurance Quotes), or his company, Best Insurance Contracts, Inc., made millions of spoofed robocalls. The FCC proposed this fine in the summer of 2017.

In response to the proposed fine, the FCC said Roesel claimed that the Commission failed to prove intent to harm, that any value he received was not “wrongfully” obtained, and that he did not know he caused harm.

The Commission determined the evidence did not support these claims and is imposing a fine in the amount originally proposed, one of the largest forfeitures ever imposed by the agency.

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