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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

FCC issues record $225 million fine for spoofed robocalls

Federal Issues FCC Enforcement Robocalls Truth in Caller ID Act

Federal Issues

On March 17, the FCC issued a record $225 million fine against two Texas-based telemarketers and their associated companies for allegedly transmitting roughly one billion illegally spoofed robocalls falsely claiming to offer plans issued by well known-health insurance companies. The Truth in Caller ID Act prohibits telemarketers from manipulating caller ID information with the intent to harm, defraud or wrongfully obtain anything of value. According to the FCC’s investigation, one of the companies’ allegedly spoofed robocalls “caused at least one company whose caller IDs were spoofed to become overwhelmed with angry call-backs from aggrieved consumers.” One of the telemarketers also apparently admitted that he placed millions of spoofed calls each day, including to numbers on the Do Not Call list. FCC acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel issued a statement commenting on the agency’s “largest fine ever,” in which she noted that the “individuals involved didn’t just lie about who they were when they made their calls—they said they were calling on behalf of well-known health insurance companies on more than a billion calls. That’s fraud on an enormous scale.”

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