Two GOP senators want answers on robocall scam that received largest-ever fine

Two GOP senators want answers on robocall scam that received largest-ever fine
© Greg Nash

Two senators are pushing a robocaller to explain how he ran his operation, which was subject to the largest-ever fine handed down on the matter by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSenate panel approves GOP tax plan Republicans see rising Dem odds in Alabama Overnight Health Care: Nearly 1.5M sign up for ObamaCare so far | Schumer says Dems won't back ObamaCare deal if it's tied to tax bill | House passes fix to measure letting Pentagon approve medical treatments MORE (R-S.D.) and Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranOvernight Cybersecurity: Kushner was contacted about WikiLeaks before election | Tech experts blast Trump's 'extreme vetting' plan | Senate passes defense bill with measure to modernize feds' IT Ensuring that defense agencies will have access to a community of entrepreneurs and innovators Provision to modernize federal IT in compromise defense bill MORE (R-Kan.) sent a letter to Adrian Abramovich on Wednesday, asking him to explain how his robocalling operation worked and what he’s doing to mitigate any harm he may have caused.

In June, the FCC fined Abramovich $122 million for his robocall company, which allegedly conducted almost 100 million illegal automated calls attempting to lure individuals into buying vacation packages and timeshares.

To whom Abramovich directed the calls is unclear, but robocall scams often target vulnerable groups like the elderly who may not be aware of what they’re agreeing to. The FCC said Abramovich’s calls were uniquely problematic because they “disrupted the operations of an emergency medical paging provider.”

In Thune and Moran’s letter, they pressed Abramovich to explain how he started making robocalls, a record of all robocalls his business made and relationships he or his businesses had with third-party contractors.

Thune suggested that the FCC’s actions on the matter may help him and other lawmakers in taking action against robocallers in the future.

“For lawmakers, the FCC’s identification of an alleged spoofing mastermind offers the opportunity to learn specific information about operations, partners, and the business model, which may provide valuable insight for future legislation,” Thune said.

— Harper Neidig contributed to this report.