[Ed. – Long overdue]
The Federal Communications Commission today proposed an $82,106,000 fine against an individual who apparently made more than 21 million illegally spoofed robocalls in violation of the Truth in Caller ID Act. The law prohibits callers from deliberately falsifying caller ID information – a practice called “spoofing” – to disguise their identity with the intent to harm, defraud consumers, or wrongfully obtain anything of value.
The FCC found that Best Insurance Contracts and its owner/operator, Mr. Philip Roesel (doing business as Wilmington Insurance Quotes) apparently made millions of illegally spoofed robocalls consumers around the country. Mr. Roesel of Wilmington, North Carolina displayed inaccurate caller ID information when making robocalls in an effort to sell health insurance, which especially targeted vulnerable consumers, including the elderly, the infirm, and low income families.
In December 2016, a medical paging provider called Spōk complained to Commission staff that robocalling campaigns were disrupting its network. Using information provided by Spōk to connect these calls to Mr. Roesel, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau subpoenaed Mr. Roesel’s call records from October 2016 through January 2017. Based on these records, FCC investigators verified 82,106 health insurance telemarketing calls made during that time used falsified caller ID information. These calls are the basis for today’s proposed fine.