back to article FCC calls for mega $300 million fine for massive US robocall campaign

US regulators want to fine the operators of a claimed massive robocall operation almost $300 million that made more than 5 billion pre-recorded calls over three months early last year. Those five billion calls went to more than 500 million phone numbers between January and March 2021 in what the Federal Communications …

  1. Brian 3

    So a repeat repeat offender eh? Because they didn't take away all his toys properly for his wrongs. $300 million may not be enough. The fine needs to be full refunds to those scammed plus the $300 million fine!

    1. usbac Silver badge

      These guys need to be in Jail, in addition to the fines.

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Not trying to out-hang-'em-and-flog-'em on you, but this is one instance where I'd be all in favor of the death penalty. And I'm serious. These cretins have caused so much stress and upset and cost millions of people time, money and peace. As repeat offenders they've had their one chance, but shown that they don't care.

        A quick drop from Albert Pierrepoint's modern counterpart would definitely preclude any more villainy from this pair.

        As it is, I'm sure they'll just declare bankruptcy, having carefully transferred their assets into others' names or tax-haven jurisdictions, and they'll pop up doing exactly the same thing a couple of years from now.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I think the death penalty is going too far.

          Much better would be for them to actually serve a long custodial sentence where they have to do some physical work, which pays for their upkeep as well as providing funds for (say) homing the homeless, or paying for food for the destitute.

          And of course to use their bank accounts (wherever they are) to repay those who've been duped.

          1. Ace2 Silver badge

            Put them in a room with a phone. Every five minutes the phone rings. “We’ve been trying to reach you…”. “This is your final notice…”.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              .. and no food or sleep if they don't answer.

              That said, make it ring loud enough and they would soon face an attitude adjustment by the rest of the prison population.

              Personally, I have zero problems with them being dealt a harsh hand.

              Situations like this always remind me of a cartoon I've seen: "I'm going to murder the person who invented the toilet brush. That thing hurts."

              :)

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "Every five minutes the phone rings"

              How about making it ring approximately every five minutes. Except for once in a while it skips a few cycles and rings after about 15 minutes. A predictable schedule would be too nice.

              Oh, and some of the calls aren't warranty calls. Some are the prison commissary asking what they would like to eat today. Some are a guard asking if they'd like to go outside for recreation today. If they don't answer those calls, they don't get the corresponding service.

              1. bombastic bob Silver badge
                Happy

                A 21st century version of Dante's Inferno

            3. JimboSmith Silver badge

              I remember being out of the country (UK), in the USA and one of my mobiles rang. It was the one I don’t give the number out for, so already I was suspicious. I googled the number over wifi and discovered it was a robocall/scam. If I had answered it in the USA it would have cost me over £1, I had three of those calls whilst over there and if I’d answered them I’d have been very annoyed. I reported the number to my mobile network when I got back.

            4. Guido Esperanto

              Sentence should be in calls answered.

              5 billion should do

          2. tesmith47

            nope, big fines AND long jail sentences like 30 years or one day per call LOL will convince them and others not to do this sort of thing

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I have long said that they just need to make this a criminal offense. I say a day in jail per call they made would be appropriate.

        The first few that get caught will set an example for any that want to follow in their footsteps. I would be more than glad for my tax money to go to putting them behind bars for the rest of their entire life. They knew what they were doing was illegal and they didn't care. They didn't care about inconveniencing everyone. They didn't care about scamming people. They are not a constructive member of society and the best option is to remove them from the civilized world.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          "I say a day in jail per call they made would be appropriate."

          That would work if it could be reduced through telling on others in the same racket. Rat out somebody else that gets convicted and your time in gets split between the two of you (the other person still getting the full dose for their own conviction). Of course, there may not be any way to get a sentence reduced to a person's remaining lifetime even if they had a list of every sleazy telemarketer in the world to claw back from 5 billion.

        2. tesmith47

          i agree, they also not driven by poverty etc. this was just pure greed to exploit

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Mushroom

        These guys need to be in Jail, in addition to the fines.

        A special placer in *HELL* also.

        I remember getting MANY of those calls, several times a day even, AND complaining about them online (there's a web page for do not call list complaints). VERY irritating. Went on for most of the year, as I recall. The case reportedly focuses on 2 months, which involves enough evidence to warrant prosecution. But the sheer volume of calls for what I remember to be MOST of the year (with short breaks in between) is probably 2 to 3 times what they're being charged with.

        I have to turn off the ringer on my phone because of irritating robocallers. Just the answering machine picks up. It has a speaker, so i can hear it if someone is leaving a message, but the 4 ring delay usually stops the robos from continuing. However, if the robo "talks" over the greeting I sometimes lose the info I need to complain about it properly.

    2. oiseau
      FAIL

      $300 million may not be is not enough.

      There you go, fixed.

      Until regulators actually bite instead of just showing their teeth, this type of shit will keep going down forever.

      5 billion calls? -> then the fine is $1.00 for every call call made, with the money going to the called parties.

      Don't have the cash? -> a complete liquidation of all the offender's assets as well as a very hefty fine for the operators involved, as they are undoubtedly privvy to what was going on.

      Not enough assets? -> pay up with porridge time.

      O.

      1. Sleep deprived

        Pay up with orridge time?

        They could sell their organs at market value. They're businessmen after all

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "5 billion calls? -> then the fine is $1.00 for every call call made, with the money going to the called parties."

        Well, for most victims, that will only be a $ or 2. The admin cost would be silly. Better to make the guilty party personally call at each victims home address and personally hand over the compensation and apologise. They can wait at each door until the get an answer too. Once they complete that task, only THEN do they start the prison sentence.

        (With thanks to Douglas Adams for creating the character whose mission was to personally insult every living being in the universe for inspiring the above idea)

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      If law enforcement can use RICO laws in the US to just relieve anybody at random of any cash they have without filing any claims or arrests, why can't these telemarketing bozos have to sue to see a return of any money and property that can be seized from them?

      They were also aided by major US telcoms that should also be in the dock with them. The operation couldn't place that many calls without it being noticed. While there are legitimate reasons for a phone used to dial out show a different number on caller ID, the ability to do that should require filing paperwork and being approved.

  2. DS999 Silver badge

    We need to go beyond fines

    Put the people involved in prison. Not just those at the top, but anyone who is proven to be knowingly helping - including people at telcos who damn well know which customers are scammers but do nothing about it because they're making money off them.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: We need to go beyond fines

      "Aiding and abetting" is already a crime, so that part shouldn't be too difficult.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: We need to go beyond fines

        ""Aiding and abetting" is already a crime, so that part shouldn't be too difficult."

        Good luck with that. AT&T by itself owns a large number of politicians through informal payments to those politician's "campaigns" and through stock those politicians own and don't want to see lose value.

        1. teknopaul

          Re: We need to go beyond fines

          Which is the root cause of robocalls. Politicians aren't going to criminalize them because they want to use them.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: We need to go beyond fines

            In the US, the courts have already determined that political robocalls are exempt from regulation because of First Amendment issues. So that's not a barrier to outlawing all other robocalls.

  3. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

    Dropped by 99%...

    1% of five billion is still 50 million! Way too much!

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Dropped by 99%...

      It's a good start though.

      1. T. F. M. Reader
        Coat

        Re: Dropped by 99%...

        Nah, a good start is 50 robocallers at the bottom of the ocean.

        Leaving, leaving --->

  4. Ball boy Silver badge

    And the operators that allowed the spoofing?

    If they want to stop this kind of thing then surely some kind of levy against the network operators is required. Until they implement a system where the caller can't spoof numbers, this kind of thing will keep happening.

    Or am I missing something? I'm not in telco.

    1. OhForF' Silver badge

      Re: And the operators that allowed the spoofing?

      At the moment telco's earn money for every spam call. I am sure taking away that money would already help convince telco's to help combat the plague of robot calls; replace it with a fine and you'll be amazed how fast they find a way to identify and block robo callers.

      1. Horst U Rodeinon

        Re: And the operators that allowed the spoofing?

        Back when I still had a copper landline, I had a device which prior to letting the call ring through, sent whatever the tone was to indicate a disconnected number. It had no effect on humans dialing my number The robocallers would move on to the next number in their list. Over a period of time, the "disconnected" number was promulgated and dropped from the spamming database(s). I went from several spam calls a day to one or two in a month. I have no doubt the telcos could do something similar for the cellular network, but just like those days of yore, it would decimate their bottom lines whereas the few hundred (thousand?) of us doing it privately didn't register with the beancounters.

      2. katrinab Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: And the operators that allowed the spoofing?

        Is that still the case?

        As far as I can see, call minutes are basically free, and telcos make their money from line rental charges.

      3. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: And the operators that allowed the spoofing?

        "At the moment telco's earn money for every spam call."

        Charge the Telcos $1/call unless they can prove a lower amount. The idea would be to put them in a tight spot going forward. Whatever the amount is, any fines for ignoring large scale spam telemarketing would be charged back at 2-4x what they made in the first place.

        Banks are required to report large cash transactions to The Man. If they don't have enough that exceed the minimum for a reporting period, the have to lower the bar to prevent "structuring". Why can't phone companies have to do a similar thing?

        1. stiine Silver badge

          Re: And the operators that allowed the spoofing?

          Whereas that $10,000.00 number that the banks use should be (today) around $270,000.00 due to inflation. So you're wrong, and misguided.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And the operators that allowed the spoofing?

      Oh it's VERY possible. Every call, be it old style or VoIP, has a call record that shows amongst other things time of call, called number, calling number and displayed number. They can search by any of that, so the phone company not only knows who actually made the call they know the direct dial number to call that specific phone. For autodialers, they can be identified to the originating trunk circuit. Spam calls would end TODAY if a 5000 dollar per spam call levy were filed for each call with the company banned from passing the charges on to their customers. They would need jail time for the CEO for too many incurred fines.

      As far as not allowing spoofing, line spoofing is a sold service. That's how a company has their 800 number appear on your caller display so a return call goes through their call center. All it takes to stop it is telling the switch that spoofing is not allowed. Just an option switch.

      Anon, cause I'm still doing it for a living. Never had any say over allowing spam calls.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And the operators that allowed the spoofing?

        Concur. After all, emergency services DO know call origins, so the tech is there.

        The problem is indeed that they still make a profit. The moment it would turn into a loss the show would be over

        1. teknopaul

          Re: And the operators that allowed the spoofing?

          "The problem is indeed that they still make a profit. The moment it would turn into a loss the show would be over"

          While this is true evil people also need to be reminded they are evil. Or they well just move on the next scam

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And the operators that allowed the spoofing?

        I think we should still allow spoofing (due to the legitimate use cases), except the real number needs to be available for enforcement of any fines. I as the customer don't need to see the real number, as long as the courts, FTC, FCC, or whoever has enforcement authority can smack the guilty party.

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      3. Ex-PFY

        Re: And the operators that allowed the spoofing?

        I thought there was a provision for registering the numbers you're spoofing as, so I use twilio, but they obviously require a pre-agreed number or alphanumeric or shortcode, and each has differing requirements, along with country. Maybe it's as simple as mandating that pre-registering globally, or before accepting a carriers calls. Dodgy networks/ISPs/telcos will just be barred for lack of following protocol, a bit like SSL cert providers.

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: And the operators that allowed the spoofing?

        "so the phone company not only knows who actually made the call"

        A lot of the calls came from out of country. CallerID may be "genuine" (or missing) by the time it reaches US jurisdiction and the only thing the US carrier knows is the originating foreign telco and the destination. Sometimes, it's not even intentional.

        I remember an occasion many years ago when Telewest/Blueyonder (now Virgin Media) were routing "local" UK calls via the Netherlands for some reasons (cost? trunk failure?) so UK/UK calls on the same network looked like they were international calls (but not charged as such) and even caused some issues with their own dial-up internet since only their own network customers got the "free" calls to the PoPs.

        And nowadays, with most of the phone network being digital, at least on the trunk side of the exchange, how a call is routed is probably very different, routing based on economy rather than any other metric. I bet even in the US it's not unusual for calls to be routed via Canadian or Mexican networks where it's cheaper for the carrier.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And the operators that allowed the spoofing?

          No, but any US call that's interesting to any agency is routed through and at&t/verizon/etc pop in one of those data centers in Reston, VA. The reason for this is that the wiretapping laws don't exist in and aound Washington, D.C. Of course, there's also a main fiber trunk route from Chicago to New York that passes through Canada. This activates a different 'make the rules go away' behavior that the TLAs abuse.

          I also wouldn't put it past our crooked government to run fiber hundreds of feet below foreign embassies to also take advantage of 'crossing the border'.

          Cynical? Me? No, I just haven't thought of all of the ways that we're getting screwed, yet.

    3. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: And the operators that allowed the spoofing?

      I worked in Telco for 15 years and there are 100% legit reasons for spoofing ID's.

      Examples (UK)

      There are no such things as 03, 08 and 09 numbers. This are effectively redirects that point to real numbers. In the pre VoIP days, these could then point to a huge amount of other numbers, so calls get directed to where they need to go, duch as time of day, day week, how busy the lines are and fsult tolerance. Easier to give out one number than 10!

      Contact centres. They handle multiples of customers, hundreds, even thousands. Better to send a spoofed id rather than withhold.

      Our carriers insisted, that ALL our spoofed numbers would match the trunk line, or the call failed. Emergency services see the TRUNK line ( so if you had xxx 000 to 499, they see 000. But that is registered to the location.

      It gets a lot more complex with VoIP but the concepts are the same.

      Here is where it falls apart.

      International calls. The source ID is not often transmitted, so the receiving carrier as no idea it is legit.

      VoIP. Same as above, but its even easier to spoof, especially having a "local" call orginating from an outside location. There are, again, legit reasons for this. As an example, we had a multinational client, who wanted staff to call a "local" number. So we bought a San Fran numbers that simply pointed to a UK one (that then went to one of 5 countries depending on language requested)

      TLDR:

      There are legit reasons to spoof, many carriers enforce rules, but many abuse the system and turn a blind eye.

      1. AVR

        Re: And the operators that allowed the spoofing?

        Those don't sound terribly legit? Convenient lies at best. It doesn't sound like a serious loss to make them harder to access, or even to stop them.

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  6. Kev99 Silver badge

    You'd think the phone companies would be able to determine the real numbers from which the calls are being made if for no other reason than billing the related phone company. Plus it seems if the phone company doesn't know from the real call orginates how can it correctly connect the call. It seems to me that it would be a fairly simple bit of code to compare the reported number to the actual number and if they don't match, drop & block the caller.

    1. Snake Silver badge

      Re: phone companies

      I'm sure they can, as the Caller ID in the office reads "Scam likely" on every robo call we receive.

      Speaking of robo calls, they have surged these past 2 weeks to the point that every 3rd call or so is now a robo call for "Google" or web site updates. It seems they are getting in their last licks before they are killed off - good riddance.

    2. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      There may not be a "real number" from which a call originates. Many VoIP systems use something called a SIP gateway to interconnect the world of IP telephony (where phone numbers are often unneeded) to the POTS world. Some of these gateways log connections and originating IP addresses (but then VPNs). A few are wide open or hacked.

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

        However...

        Those SIP gateways have to connect to the carrier network at some point.

        And that's where they need to be cut off. The carriers know damn well who runs these gateways and which ones the robocalls come through, because they bill them. A little extra inspection of these gateways and a somewhat more onerous process to get connected to the network might prove effective at reducing the number of robocalls.

        The FCC is toothless. All they can do is levy administrative fines; no one is going to prison. Mark my words, these clowns will pay the fine and pop up somewhere else doing the same thing.

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "You'd think the phone companies would be able to determine the real numbers from which the calls are being made if for no other reason than billing the related phone company."

      You're darn tootin' the telcos know where to send the bills. They aren't letting unknown calls on their network if they can't get paid to carry them.

      1. Emir Al Weeq

        If carrier B is terminating a call from carrier A, it doesn't need to know if the originating number is genuine (or even sent), it just needs to bill carrier A for its (B's) share of the bill. Billing the caller is carrier A's problem.

        A may not be in the same juristiction as B so things get complicated.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In prison - with a phone

    When they lock these guys up, they need a phone in there. Incoming line only. And let their victims call and harass them at all hours of the day and night.

    Maybe also put the phone numbers on 4Chan...

    1. Ace2 Silver badge

      Re: In prison - with a phone

      Beat me to it

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: In prison - with a phone

      "Maybe also put the phone numbers on 4Chan..."

      That would probably breach the UN Human Rights declaration. Did the US ever ratify that? No? Good-oh!

    3. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Re: In prison - with a phone

      "Your cell has a phone because the governor would like to speak with you about a pardon. Don't miss the call."

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In prison - with a phone

      Part of the punishment can be for every robo call they did, they have to answer a robo call, and the only way others can talk to them is through the telephone with limited call time, and limited number of attempts. If they hang up on lawyer/friend/relative, they have to wait another time period for the lawyer/friend/relative to call.

  8. aerogems Silver badge
    Angel

    Restorative Justice

    How about, in addition to some prison time, while they're IN prison, they have to work for some kind of service that sits on hold for people and wades through all the phone trees to cancel service or something like that? The specifics could be worked out at a later date, the idea is to make them understand first hand what it is they put others through.

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  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How come

    I never make these lists?

    1. Martin Summers

      Re: How come

      Cos you're anonymous.

  12. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    So 6 cents per call. Make it a fine of $10 per call plus jail time for the directors and their personal liability jointly with the company and that'd be a deterrent.

  13. Sceptic Tank Silver badge
    WTF?

    It seems like every form of messaging is being killed off by marketers. If they don't spam your email to the extent that it is unusable they start ringing you up on your phone. Because I own a property, my personal particulars are listed in the property register and I constantly get called up by estate agents who want to know if the property is in the market or if they can come and do a free evaluation.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "Because I own a property, my personal particulars are listed in the property register and I constantly get called up by estate agents who want to know if the property is in the market or if they can come and do a free evaluation."

      I feel your pain. I changed my telephone number with the county to a test number that just rings. Government agencies send letters via the post or men in suits if you've been really naughty, they will almost never phone. It could happen, but doubtful. The same goes for Infernal Revenue. For a real dose of fun, memorize some phone numbers at some tax authority office and use those when you don't want/need to give out your real phone number.

    2. J. Cook Silver badge
      Pirate

      I used to get those types of calls; I tell them, sure, I'm willing to sell my house- starting bid is [400% of current market value, but no less than 10 million USD]- When they (usually) decline, I tell them I'm on the do no call registry and to remove my name.

      I played games with the extended warranty people, too, asking them if they'll cover a 1954 Edsal, or some other obscure and/or impossible make/model/year combination. :D

      That, and after every interaction, the phone number went into the phone's block list.

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  15. Contrex

    "US regulators want to fine the operators of a claimed massive robocall operation almost $300 million that made more than 5 billion pre-recorded calls over three months" - doesn't anybody proof read on here any more? Or is this American English?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, it is not American English. It is lazy typing by Americans(?) who have a tendency to not use correct punctuation.

      1. veti Silver badge

        It's going to take more than punctuation to make sense of that sentence.

    3. Col_Panek

      Six cents per call? I guess crime does pay.

  16. Bruce Ordway

    Makes more sense now

    Maybe this explains why I noticed an increase in robo-calls this past year.

    I signed on to the national "do not call" list several years ago & that used to help... not anymore I guess.

    These days I don't carry the phone and the ringtone is disabled.

    I mainly check voicemail and return calls every few days.

    So it is rare that I'd actually answer an incoming robo-call.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Makes more sense now

      I answer all calls because we have customers who call us for clinical help occasionally - but if the call is asking, "Good morning. If you are still in the market for a line of credit we currently have an offer in the amount of $355,000, the funds can be used for payroll, expansion, marketing, taxes, equipment purchases and basically any business related expenses" then I tell them that they need to talk to my friend Rick in the accounting ... and I start playing the link on my cell phone into the company phone. After a minute they hang up the phone (thinking they were on hold?) but I still listen to the end of it - LOL.

  17. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Vehicle warranty programs

    Not a problem for me. In fact, a source of entertainment.

    "Sir. We are offering an extended warranty for your vehicle. Could you tell me the make model and year?"

    "Sure. Toyota Landcruiser, 1979."

    [Click]

    --

    I'm certain the real crooks would probably try to sell me a policy anyway. As they have no intention of ever paying a claim. The one's that upset me are the ones who have purchased a copy of our state's DMV registration records. They know what I've got and they aren't going to take the old beater as the final word. This is something I need to take up with our state.

  18. rnturn

    I and others in the family were each getting those calls a couple of times a week for a time. Until it failed to work following an Android upgrade, probably 90% of the numbers I was blocking with a spam blocking app were related to these car warranty come-ons.

  19. Uncle Ron

    Jail?

    Why aren't these guys in jail?

  20. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    FAIL

    Didn't notice

    I'm still getting plenty of scam voicemails. I just checked that the SMS phishing gangs with their complex and well established infrastructure on Amazon/Salesforce/HighSpeedWeb/OVH/Cloudflare/Google/Namecheap are doing fine too.

    As even the FCC has said, they can invent any fine they like but they have no power to collect the money.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Didn't notice

      They just need to pass the bill to at&t, and say "here's the bill, either collect it or pay it yourself'

  21. bill 27

    Didn't call me...

    But boy did the politicians call...and call...and call...and call...then they started sending me text messages...

  22. EBG

    lock 'em up and throw away the key

    I don't even care whether they're guilty or not. Just do it " pour encourager les autres".

  23. john.w

    Fines will never be paid but....

    If their phone numbers were to be published and updated regularly by the authorities I am sure some of us less pressed for time could give them a call and ask how they are doing.

  24. glennsills

    Tougher Penalties

    The penalty for these crimes should be to spend 5 minutes per call in a jail cell with a cell phone that is constantly being spammed. Just 5 minutes per call.

  25. Grunchy Silver badge

    “FCC,” more like “KFC.”

    The AT-5000 Auto-dialer was an invention of Professor Frink and was the Professor's first patent. Its original purpose was to inform children of snow-days, however, it fell into the hands of a bum (Jimmy the Scumbag) who used it for telemarketing.

  26. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Any leads on a good chat bot?

    I'd love to have a chat bot with a passable voice that could keep a telemarketer going for a bit. Something that can be scripted so when it hears a phrase such as "car warranty" it can go into a routine that runs them a merry chase having them explain where to find the VIN number on the registration and finally give them one you've programmed in (from a police car) and responding to questions with random semi-personal inquiries such as if the person is married or has children. The weather is always a good topic and good for a couple of minutes of wasted time while sounds of looking through file drawers and rustling paper is in the background to simulate a search for a piece of information.

  27. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Also fraud

    Also fraud and other charges possible here. In the US warrantys are ONLY offered by the original manufacturer, extended warrantys are also only offered by the original manufacturer. Anything offered aftermarket is an extended service plan and it's a serious federal crime to claim you are providing a warranty for a product you did not manufacture.

    A past problem with FCC enforcement was that the FCC regulations allowed these fraudsters to self-report their income and assets, as a fraudster they'd claim they have like $10 and the FCC would be obligated by regulation to allow like $1 a month payments on multimillion dollar fines. My understanding is the FCC recognized this problem and those regs were gutted out and replaced with sensible ones allowing agressive colelction of fines a few years back. (I suppose previous fines are grandfathered into the old useless regs but new fines would not be.) So hopefully if they are not imprisioned as they should be they can at least have their assets seized and be bankrupted for the rest of their lives.

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

      Re: Also fraud

      I doubt the FCC will be collecting dollar 1 from these scumbags, seeing as they've got prior history. They'll just gin up another few hundred LLCs and start over.

  28. Gerhard Mack

    The scammers are starting to ban my number.

    My trick is to always hit whatever button gets me a live operator and then tell them off. If everyone did that, it would throw the economics of the scam operations on it's head since they use the robocall to spam as many numbers as possible without having to expensive humans and that wouldn't be possible anymore.

    1. Shred

      Re: The scammers are starting to ban my number.

      Exactly. The scumbags have wasted my time and interrupted me from what I was doing, so now I’ll jump through whatever hoops are required to get a real person on the line and waste a bit of their time.

      If everyone did this - just talked to them for 30 seconds, the whole scam would collapse.

  29. nigeldh

    FCC also needs K4 & N2 for Medicaid robocalls

    I wish they would issue K4 and N2 for all the Medicaid robocalls. We still have a landline and we are getting at least 6 a day. A close second is the Camp Lejeune water contamination.

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