The FCC says that it has upheld a proposed fine of $120 million to Adrian Abramovich for malicious spoofing related to a robocall scheme. The FCC robocall fine is the largest ever levied by the FCC.
The FCC robocall fine, which originally was proposed in the summer of 2017, was made under The Truth in Caller ID Act. Abramovich ran a robocalling scam that made almost 100 million calls over a three-month period, the FCC said.
Consumers would receive recorded calls saying they were from travel-related companies such as Marriott, Expedia, Hilton and TripAdvisor. The recording would prompt people to “press 1” for information about exclusive vacation deals. In reality, the calls would be transferred to foreign call centers whose operators would try to sell timeshares to the caller.
Part of the scam was “neighborhood spoofing” in which caller ID information was changed to make it seem as if the call was from a local source, increasing the likelihood that the person would pick up. The press release about the fine says Neighborhood Spoofing has more than doubled during the first few months of this year.
Telecompetitor’s initial story on the case against Abramovich said that 80,000 of the 96,000 calls had been verified.
Abramovich is not the only person who has run afoul of The Truth in Caller ID Act. The FCC in August 2016 said it would fine Steven Blumenstock and Gary Braver of New York City $25,000 each for violations of the laws.
The two men allegedly made 31 spoofed calls to Mr. Braver’s ex-wife in an effort to stalk and harass her. They also spoofed her parents, her child’s school district, the Sing Sing Correctional Facility and the U.S. Postal Service in connection with these efforts.