Robocalls

The FCC’s Robocall Response Team today sent Enforcement Bureau cease-and-desist letters to two more voice service providers, telling them to end their apparent support of illegal robocall traffic or face serious consequences.

The two providers are SIPphony LLC and Vultik.

The letters said: “You should investigate the identified traffic and take the steps …, including blocking the traffic if necessary, and take steps to prevent your network from continuing to be a source of apparently illegal robocalls.  Failure to comply with the steps outlined in this letter may result in downstream voice service providers blocking all of [your] traffic, permanently.”

With today’s action, more than 20 service providers have received these warning letters. So far, most recipients have either demonstrated that the robocall traffic was cut off or have notified the regulator that they would be ceasing all operations. Those voice providers that failed to take such steps received more aggressive action from the FCC Enforcement Bureau.

According to the regulator, these actions have had a dramatic impact on large-scale robocalling schemes.  FCC enforcement staff closely monitors providers that said they had stopped carrying robocall traffic to ensure the traffic does not return.

The cease-and-desist letters represent only one type of action the regulator has taken to attempt to stem the rising level of robocalls. Other actions include:

  • Blocking active robocall scam campaigns by issuing first-of-their-kind actions resulting, in the case of a massive auto warranty robocall scam campaign, in a 99% drop in the volume of such calls;
  • Numerous record-breaking spoofing and robocall fines;
  • Closing gateways used by international robocallers to reach Americans’ phones;
  • Widespread implementation of STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication standards to help traceback illegal calls and improve blocking tools to protect consumers;
  • Cutting voice service providers off from other networks for failing to meet the FCC’s requirements for protecting consumers against scam robocalls and malicious spoofing;
  • Signing robocall investigation partnerships with 43 states plus the District of Columbia and Guam as well as international partnerships with Australia, Canada, Brazil, Romania, and the European Union;
  • Launching an unprecedented proceeding to combat the rising threat of bogus robotexts.

“Scam robocalls are more than just a nuisance, they waste our time and resources and destroy trust in our communications networks,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a prepared statement. “We will continue to use every tool we have to go after this fraud and stop the bad actors responsible for these calls in their tracks.”

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