The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has brought the hammer down again in an attempt to get a handle on the explosion of robocalls, fining Affordable Enterprises of Arizona $37.5 million for making millions of illegally spoofed calls.
According to the FCC complaint, Affordable Enterprises of Arizona spoofed phone numbers belonging to Arizona residents as well as unassigned numbers. Those numbers would then show up on the call recipient’s caller ID, making the call – for home improvement and remodeling services — appear to be from a legitimate local number, rather than from Affordable Enterprises.
One resident received more than five calls per day from consumers complaining about telemarketing calls they thought she had made because her phone number had been spoofed.
The complaint charges the Tucson-based with making more than 2.3 million of these unlawful calls to state residents during a 14-month period starting in 2016.
The complaint said that the calls violated the Truth in Caller ID Act, which prohibits anyone from transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with the intent to defraud, cause harm or wrongly obtain anything of value.
The investigation into Affordable Enterprises started when the FCC Enforcement Bureau received a tip from a former employee of the company. Based on the tip and other evidence, the FCC rejected Affordable Enterprise’s request to reduce or eliminate the fine, the regulator said in a press release about fining the robocaller.
Though a significant fine, it pales in comparison to the $120 million robocall-related fine the FCC levied in 2017 and upheld earlier this year.