FCC proposes $122M fine on robocall scammer

Cyber war has a new weapon: Your smartphone
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The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday proposed a $120 million fine, its largest ever, on a Florida man who is suspected of making nearly 100 million illegal robocalls over a three-month period.

FCC officials said that Adrian Abramovich of Miami apparently made 96 million “spoofed” robocalls in an attempt to lure consumers into buying into vacation packages and timeshares.

The proposed fine is based on 80,000 such calls that the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau verified as originating from Abramovich.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai added that the operation may have disrupted medical services.

{mosads}“This scheme was particularly abhorrent because, given its breadth, it appears to have substantially disrupted the operations of an emergency medical paging provider,” he said at an FCC hearing Thursday.

“It did this by slowing down and potentially disabling its network. Pagers may be low-tech, but for doctors, these devices are simple and dependable standbys.”

In addition to being the largest fine the FCC has ever proposed, it’s also the first time the agency has taken an enforcement action under the 2009 Truth in Caller ID Act

“Spoofed” calls fraudulently alter the caller’s ID, usually to make it appear as though the call is originating from someone other than a robocaller. The calls that the FCC identified were made to look as though they were coming from local callers.

According to the FCC, Abramovich’s calls misled people into thinking they were being offered exclusive vacation deals from companies like TripAdvisor and Expedia.

Before the FCC officially imposes the fine, Abramovich will have a chance to respond to the agency’s findings.

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