The FCC’s Robocall Response Team has unveiled new actions designed to stem a flood of scam robocalls related to student loan debts. These calls could increase as repayments are to restart at the end of the year and the Administration’s planned loan forgiveness is in limbo as the result of a Texas court decision earlier this week.
A recent FCC consumer alert warned about a potential uptick in student loan debt robocalls in the wake of the recent announcement of nationwide federal student loan debt relief. The regulator additionally issued an Enforcement Advisory to remind voice service providers of their role in protecting consumers by aggressively combating illegal robocalls, especially those about student loans.
The regulator’s enforcement arm thinks some 40% percent of student loan debt robocalls generated last month originated from a single voice service provider: Urth Access, LLC. The FCC told the service provider that it must cease and desist from carrying this apparently illegal traffic and ordered all voice service providers to be on the lookout for this traffic.
The robocalls, many referencing official-sounding agencies, include prerecorded advertising messages offering student loan assistance, including loan forgiveness.
The action is one of several the FCC has taken against illegal robocalls in the last year including against robocalls for auto warranties, from offshore locations and “ringless voicemail” robocalls.
“We’re slamming the door on these pernicious calls — cutting them off to protect the millions of Americans who may be targeted simply because they have school loans,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, in a prepared statement about the action on scam student loan robocalls. “This is a new and more nimble FCC tool that we are putting to quick use here and won’t hesitate to use again in order to prevent these scam calls from getting through and reaching consumers.”