The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday ordered phone companies to stop facilitating a RoboDial scam marketing “auto warranties.”
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The FCC’s RoboCall Response Team mandated that the companies “take all necessary steps” to block the robocall traffic. The agency accuses the RoboDial campaign of making more than 8 billion unlawful prerecorded message calls to U.S. consumers.
The team blamed individuals named Roy Cox Jr. and Aaron Michael Jones for the scam. They also called out Cox’s and Jones’ Sumco Panama companies and international associates.
Thursday’s order came after the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau launched an investigation into the RoboDial scam. The Ohio Attorney General also recently sued over the allegedly duplicitous marketing ploy.
The FCC on Thursday also issued a six-page PDF of its recent trackback records.
“We are not going to tolerate robocall scammers or those that help make their scams possible,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said. “Consumers are out of patience[,] and I’m right there with them.”
‘It’s Time To Get Out The Fly Swatter.’
The scam started in 2018 at the latest, according to the FCC.
The prerecorded marketing messages allegedly ask consumers to follow prompts to talk with a “warranty specialist.” The messages further say the “specialist” will discuss extending or reinstating consumers’ car warranties with them.
The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau previously told all U.S.-based phone companies to stop carrying any traffic from the alleged operation. The agency issued a public notice on the matter, according to a July 7 statement.
The bureau said it issued cease-and-desist letters to eight phone companies as a warning. But the companies didn’t heed the warning.
“The Enforcement Bureau is directing all other carriers to refuse to carry this traffic,” the statement said.
Moreover, Chairwoman Rosenworcel announced the Enforcement Bureau opened a formal case and is investigating the calls for possible legal violations.
Also on July 7, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office announced a suit against the alleged scam operation.
“Our lives are plagued by robocalls like a swarm of flies,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said in a statement. “This particular operation prompted more than 1,600 unwanted-call complaints to my office. It’s time to get out the fly swatter.”