The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday announced that it had issued a $120 million fine to a man in Florida for making millions of robocalls. He is charged with making nearly 100 million robocalls over a three month period using spoofed caller ID.
Abramovich and his legal representatives could not be immediately reached to comment on the fine.
Abramovich testified in Congress last month under subpoena.
He denied engaging in "fraudulent activities" and said "it was always my intent with the FCC to negotiate toward an appropriate fine within my ability to pay such an amount".
He did not make a very good case about constitutionality, apparently.
Abramovich's scheme involved calling unsuspecting customers with a prerecorded message instructing them to "Press 1" to hear more about an "exclusive" vacation deal offered by a well-known travel or hospitality company, like TripAdvisor, Expedia, Marriott, or Hilton, the FCC said. Several of these major companies, which were getting complaints from consumers who thought they were malfeasors, assisted the FCC in its investigation.
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Those who answered were played recordings offering vacation packages and, if they pressed a button to learn more, were sent to sales reps in overseas call centers.
The FCC fine is part of a multifaceted effort to crack down on robocalls, which have spurred more than 4.5 million complaints to federal regulators in recent years.
Adrian Abramovich was accused of flooding consumers with 97 million phone calls touting fake travel deals, according to Fortune. The fine on Abramovich is the largest ever imposed by the FCC, the agency said. Abramovich "engaged in regular mass-robocalling campaigns during 2015 and 2016" that "repeatedly disrupted a critical telecommunications service used by hospitals and emergency medical providers", it said. 30 billion robocalls previous year alone.
FCC officials called him "the most disruptive robocaller and spoofer we have encountered to date" and said the.
But Inouye said that it might be possible to cut back on robocalling, with proper coordination between the FCC and communications companies.