The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fined telemarketing companies owned by Philip Roesel with $82,106,000 after the robocaller spoofed its phone number while making health insurance marketing calls.
Roesel's telemarketing companies made over 21 million robocalls to customers trying to sell health insurance and generating sales leads while spoofing the phone numbers to avoid getting blocked.
The robocaller's actions made it very hard if not impossible for consumers who got the spoofed calls to make complaints and to report them to the authorities, and for the law enforcement agencies to stop these type of calls and track their source.
Roesel is not the first telemarketer who used a robocalling system illegally, as Adrian Abramovich also received a $120 million fine for making 97 million phone calls to trick his victims with fake travel deals.
On September 26, the FCC also proposed a $37.5 million fine for a telemarketing company from Arizona which was peddling home improvement and remodeling services via phone calls spoofed to look as coming from numbers not owned by the company.
The FCC also fined Adrian Abramovich with $120 million in May and proposed a $37.5 million fine two days ago for another robocaller
"The Truth in Caller ID Act and Rules prohibit any individual from spoofing caller ID information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value," says the FCC in the forfeiture order.
Moreover, "accurate caller ID information allows consumers to make informed decisions about which calls to accept, ignore, or block, and whether the party on the other end of the phone line is reputable and deserving of their trust."
Quite ironically, Roesel filed a response saying that he was using the spoofed numbers to contact customers to avoid being an overwhelming number of phone calls from the people he and his companies reached more than 21 million times.
The $82 million fine Roesel and his companies got is one of the steps the Federal Communications Commission took in the last year to fight off robocalling-based marketing business which would at times disrupt the operation of vital services such as emergency medical pagers.