The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a whopping $225 million fine to two telemarketing firms in Texas.
John C. Spiller and Jakob A. Mears used a number of business names in their operation, including Rising Eagle and JSquared Telecom, spoofing robocalls during the first four and a half months of 2019. They falsely claimed to offer health insurance from well-known providers. To make matters worse, the telemarketers intentionally broke the law in an effort to be more profitable.
Mr. Spiller admitted to the USTelecom Industry Traceback Group that he made millions of spoofed calls per day and knowingly called consumers on the Do Not Call list as he believed that it was more profitable to target these consumers.
The companies made some 23.6 million robocalls per day, across the nation’s four largest wireless carriers (since the calls happened before T-Mobile and Sprint’s merger).
“This isn’t just frustrating—it’s dangerous,” said Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “When we can’t trust that the number we see is the number that is truly calling, we’re less likely to pick up the phone and more likely to miss important calls from those we really care about.”
Rosenworcel also announce the creation of a dedicated Robocall Response Team at the FCC, consisting “of over 50 attorneys, economists, engineers, and analysts from the agency, including the Enforcement Bureau, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, the International Bureau, the Wireline Competition Bureau, the Office of Economics and Analytics, and the Office of General Counsel.”
Hopefully the FCC’s record-breaking fine will discourage other telemarketers from engaging in such behavior.