FCC Fines Robocall Company $300 Million Penalty
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed a $299,997,000 fine for the Sumco Panama company for its alleged robocall scam.
It reportedly used pre-recorded voices “to press consumers to speak to a ‘warranty specialist’” to inquire about extending their vehicle’s warranty.
However, it was a ploy to generate leads for selling vehicle service contracts. The FCC describes the scheme as “one of the largest illegal robocall operations in history.”
More details about the robocall warranty scam
The FCC proposed the fine on Sumco Panama on December 21, 2022, owned by Roy Cox Jr. and Micheal Aaron Jones.
According to its press release, the robocall firm made over five billion calls in three months. That is enough “to have called each person in the United States 15 times.”
The company has placed roughly “5,187,677,000 calls to 550,138,650 wireless and residential phones from January to March 2018, using 1,051,461 unique caller ID numbers.”
As mentioned, Sumco Panama used pre-recorded messages to ask customers about reinstating their car warranty.
Moreover, the Cox/Jones operation “spoofed” the phone numbers of numerous hospitals.
In other words, the robocall listed their contact details as a customer service hotline.
As a result, confused customers called the hospitals to complain, interrupting the phone lines of these essential public safety institutions.
Additionally, the FCC fines the robocall company for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
The law requires pre-recorded phone messages to have prior consent before calling people.
Moreover, robocalls must identify the caller at the start of the message and include a call-back number for opting out of future calls.
Unfortunately, Sumca Panama allegedly placed telemarketing calls “apparently without their prior consent and without including requisite disclosures.
The Truth in Caller ID Act also prohibits spoofing when “it is done to cause harm, including tricking consumers or defrauding them.”
Sumco Panama’s foreign dialing entities reportedly “the ‘neighbor spoofing’ tactic to seem local to American consumers.”
The FCC fined robocall company Sumco Panama $299,997,000, described as “the largest robocall firm” it has ever investigated.
In July 2022, the Federal Communications Commission issued its first-ever “N2 Order” and “K4 Notice.”
They require all US telephone providers to cease carrying traffic related to this auto warranty scam.
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