FCC Proposes Historic $120 Million Fine for Illegally “Spoofed” Robocalls

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a historic $120 million fine against an individual, Mr. Adrian Abramovich, who reportedly made more than 100 million unlawful “spoofed” robocalls in violation of the Truth in Caller ID Act. On June 22, 2017, the Commission approved a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture finding Mr. Abramovich apparently liable for violations of the Act and Commission rules. 

June 2017 FCC Meeting Recap: FCC Proposes $120 Million Fine for Alleged “Spoofed Robocall Campaign”

On June 22, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) issued a first-of-its-kind Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) alleging that Adrian Abramovich, through numerous companies that he owned or operated, violated the Truth in Caller ID Act by placing more than 95 million robocalls to consumers while “knowingly causing the display of inaccurate caller ID information.”  The NAL proposes fines totaling $120 million, and seeks to hold Mr. Abramovich personally liable for the full amount.  Separately, the Commission released a citation against Mr. Abramovich on the same day for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the federal wire fraud statute.

The Ins and Outs of Call Center Fraud

VoIP users have access to the caller ID field, and it can be set to whatever they want. This is a key advantage to those perpetrating fraud since they don't need many technical skills to make this work. Fraud perpetrators have developed software to reset PINs and access accounts and IVR systems. This is called call center fraud.

DHS S&T $1.3M Small Business Innovation Research Awards

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program has awarded $1.3 million to 12 small businesses for 13 Phase I contract awards to develop technology solutions to Homeland Security challenges. 

Ringless Voicemails May Become the New Robocalls

Federal regulators are working on various methods to block robocalls, both to landlines and to mobile phones, with varying degrees of success. As those technologies make their way into the marketplace, some companies now are looking for clearance from the FCC to deliver their messages directly to customers’ voicemails without ringing their phones.