The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) has continued to flex its regulatory muscles when it comes to invasion of consumer privacy via illegal telemarketing calls. The Bureau has issued eight new cease and desist letters to voice service providers in connection apparent transmission of calls many of which included “prerecorded advertising messages marketing vehicle service warranties.” The Bureau letters were part of a nationwide warning about a scheme that “appears to be responsible for making more than eight billion unlawful robocalls to consumers in the United States since at least 2018.”
At the same time the FCC’s Chairwoman announced that the agency has “opened a formal case and is actively investigating these calls for possible legal violations”
The FCC’s actions were in part in support of a Federal lawsuit brought by the Attorney General (AG) of Ohio to stop the “scheme responsible for bombarding U.S. consumers with billions of illegal robocalls”. The Attorney General asserted, “The defendants also engaged in ‘spoofing,’ or the practice of disguising the information that appears on Caller ID. The defendants created a complex scheme to conceal the call originators by interweaving companies and individuals, potentially even using aliases and fake entities.”
Initiation of the lawsuit comes on the heels of the Ohio AG’s own “warning letters” to ten voice service providers potentially facilitating illegal calling practices in the State .