Record Fine for Spoofed Robocalls
A Texas-based telemarketing firm faces a record $225 million fine for making spoofed robocalls as part of a health insurance marketing scam. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) alleges that John C. Spiller and Jakob Mears, who used company names including Rising Eagle Capital and JSquared Telecom, made as many as 1 billion robocalls during the first four-and-a-half months of 2019. The $225 million amount was the largest fine in the FCC’s 86-year history.
This proposed fine is different from previous actions against robocallers in that it names Spiller and Mears individually. The FCC’s action potentially exposes their personal assets to be seized by piercing the so-called “corporate shield.” According to the FCC, Spiller admitted that he made millions of calls per day using spoofed numbers that resembled numbers belonging to a call recipient’s friends or family members.
This fine comes after the agency recently approved new guidelines requiring telecommunications providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN technology to help consumers identify who is calling. STIR/SHAKEN protects consumers from spoofed numbers by using digital tokens to help determine whether the calling number is the same as the number showing up on Caller ID. Scammers use spoofed numbers to mask their identity by changing what is displayed on Caller ID. For more details on STIR/SHAKEN and to see how Telo is supporting these measures, click here!
To see the official statement by the FCC, click here.