Everyone hates those robocalls that target our phones to sell things we don’t need. Companies are even offering money to anyone that creates the technology to block robocalls!
Let’s consider this one a win for all of us: an individual robocall scammer is facing a $120 million fine from the FCC for his massive caller ID spoofing operation.
According to an FCC press release, the scammer, Adrian Abramovich of Miami, is in trouble for allegedly making 96 million illegally-spoofed robocalls across a three-month period to see timeshares. The fine is based on the 80,000 spoofed calls the FCC has been able to verify. It was TripAdvisor that started the investigation as the travel company began to get complaints about robocalls originating from the scammer back in 2016. A medical paging provider, Spōk, also complained to the FCC about similar calls that were also traced back to Abramovich.
How did Abramovich do all these calls?
It’s a technique called “neighbor spoofing.” The caller ID of such calls matches the area code and the first three digits of the recipient’s phone number, which is more likely to be answered than calls that simply match the area code. This goes against The Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009, which prohibits spoofing to “cause harm, defraud, or wrongfully obtain anything of value,” according to the FCC.
So far, Abramovich has only been given a citation, but could face millions of fines if he doesn’t stop.