The FCC today sent cease-and-desist letters to network providers Duratel, Primo Dialler, and PZ/Illum Telecommunication demanding that the companies immediately cease originating illegal robocall campaigns on their networks. The companies have 48 hours to comply with the FCC robocall action.
Many of these campaigns originated overseas, according to investigations by the regulator’s enforcement bureau and the Traceback Consortium, a telecom industry group. Duratel and PZ/Illum allegedly originated substantial numbers of government imposter scam calls including posing as the Department of Homeland Security, the Social Security Administration or the Federal Reserve.
According to the FCC, Primo Dialler used an entirely different ploy, originating robocalls threatening utility discontinuation or offering fake credit card rate reductions.
If these network providers don’t stop these practices immediately, the FCC will authorize other network operators to block all traffic from these companies.
Other companies have stopped such robocalls after receiving cease-and-desist letters from the FCC in the spring. However, the regulator is still monitoring those companies and will authorize the blocking of traffic from any if the practice re-starts.
“We announced the formation of the agency’s Robocall Response Team with a clear message: bad actors beware,” said FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, in a prepared statement about the FCC robocall action. “These cease-and-desist letters should serve as a warning sign to other entities that believe the FCC has turned a blind eye to this issue. We haven’t. Our latest action makes it clear to companies like these that we will intervene when necessary to protect American consumers. The FCC is putting its full force behind stopping these junk calls.”
Stopping foreign-originated robocalls is “one of the most vexing challenges” the FCC faces in the battle against foreign-based robocallers and the voice service providers that they use, the regulator said earlier this month in adopting a pair of notices of proposed rulemaking designed to help curtail the annoying calls.