The FCC is getting serious with its responses to robocallers, with the latest case being that of an individual rather than a company who made over 6,000 robocalls across six states.
As Engadget reports, the man in question used an online calling platform to manipulate caller ID so as to make his calls look like they came from a local number. He then set about targeting specific communities in each state, with the FCC stating his main intention was to “cause harm.”
The FCC discovered he made 1,496 calls in California regarding the state’s US Senate primary. In Florida he made 766 calls making “racist attacks about a Florida gubernatorial candidate.” Another 583 calls were made in Georgia attacking a similar candidate and callers were told it was on behalf of Oprah Winfrey. 750 calls were made in Idaho attacking a newspaper and publisher after they exposed another robocaller. Then in Virginia 2,023 calls were made during the James Fields trial with a suggestion the man was attempting to influence the jury.
The worst robocall spree was made in Iowa, though. The man made 827 calls following the murder of a local college student. An illegal alien from Mexico was arrested and the spoof calls talked about a “brown horde,” “savages,” and to “Kill them all.” The family members of the murdered student also received the calls.
In a statement detailing the extent of the robocalls, the FCC said, “The caller was apparently motivated by a belief that these actions would result in media notoriety and accordingly would enable him to increase publicity for his website and personal brand. In the process, he apparently broke the law. The FCC, Federal Trade Commission, and local law enforcement all received numerous complaints from consumers about apparently spoofed robocalls from this caller.”
Clearly his plan backfired and now he’s in for a big financial shock. The FCC is proposing a fine of $12,910,000 against the individual, which it seems unlikely he’ll be able to pay. Before then, the FCC is offering the man an opportunity to respond by submitting evidence and legal arguments.