The Federal Communications Commission voted to impose a $120 million fine Thursday on a Florida man, who allegedly made almost 100 million robocalls to trick consumers into purchasing "exclusive" vacation deals from well-known travel companies.
The FCC said Adrian Abramovich of Miami made nearly 100 million robocalls over a three-month period in what the agency called a "malicious spoofing" operation.
The FCC has upheld a $120m fine levied against a man accused of making 96 million illegal robocalls.
To view the full article, register now. The agency stated that the calls were in direct violation of the Caller ID Act, which prohibits the falsification of ID information when it is meant to defraud or harm call recipients.
"Mr. Abramovich didn't just have the intent to defraud or cause harm". Abramovich was responsible for the most extensive caller ID spoofing schemes we have ever encountered, and he caused companies and individuals extensive harm. "Just ask his victims - a number of whom are elderly - who were duped into purchasing travel deals under false pretenses". Consumer complaints about neighbor spoofing have more than doubled in the first few months of 2018, FCC said. The calls were also disguised to make them look like they're from legit well-known travel companies and hotel groups like Marriott, Expedia, Hilton and TripAdvisor. The centers were not related to the major companies, the FCC said.
As someone who gets these robocalls all the time, I fully support both this fine and the more serious measures Rosenworcel suggests.
Indeed, FCC spokesman Will Wiquist said that while the FCC is attempting to address illegal robocalls with enforcement, government-industry partnerships and consumer information campaigns that warn about neighbor spoofing, among other things, it's an uphill battle.
In April, Abramovich and his lawyers denied any "fraudulent activities", telling a Senate panel he was "not the kingpin of robocalling that is alleged".
"It is the top consumer protection priority for the chairman", said Wiquist, "but there's no silver bullet".