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Cracking down on what it called the “largest illegal robocall operation the agency has ever investigated,” the FCC issued a record-breaking $299,997,000 fine to match. Announcing its enforcement action during a press conference and release, the FCC says the mammoth fine was levied against an international network of companies involved in a sweeping auto warranty robocall scam.

According to the FCC, the scam network made more than 5 billion robocalls to more than 500 million phone numbers in just a three-month span in 2021. Along the way, these companies “violated a multitude of robocall prohibitions” including:

  • Making pre-recorded voice calls to mobile phones without prior express consent
  • Placing telemarketing calls without written consent
  • Dialing numbers included on the National Do Not Call Registry
  • Failing to identify the callers at the start of the message
  • Failing to provide a call-back number that allowed consumers to opt out of future calls

Meanwhile, the companies also violated spoofing laws, using more than a million different caller ID numbers in an attempt to disguise the origin of the robocalls.

Leaders of the operation, Roy Melvin Cox, Jr., and Aaron Michael Jones, were already known to regulators when their sprawling investigation began. Each of them is a repeat offender already banned from engaging in telemarketing, the FCC said. However, as Jon Brodkin notes in Ars Technica, the government was ultimately unable to collect close to the full amount of previous fines they have faced.

The FCC proposed its latest, record-breaking fine back in December 2022. With no response coming from the companies involved, the FCC moved forward and issued the fine.

As our friends at TCPAWorld put it, “If you take anything away from this, do not ghost a federal agency. If you find yourself at the end of a state AG’s office or a federal agency, seek counsel, not silence or you too may be paying the big bucks.”

In the meantime, the judgment should also serve as a reminder that—even if your business does so only inadvertently and with good intentions—violating robocalling statutes can lead to devastating penalties. Work with counsel and the right dialer software partner to improve your TCPA compliance support today.

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DISCLAIMER: The information on this page, and related links, is provided for general education purposes only and is not legal advice. Convoso does not guarantee the accuracy or appropriateness of this information to your situation. You are solely responsible for using Convoso’s services in a legally compliant way and should consult your legal counsel for compliance advice. Any quotes are solely the views of the quoted person and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Convoso.

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