City workers make phone calls outside the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square in the City of London at lunchtime October 1, 2008.

The FCC fined one person a record $120 million for robocalls

$120 million

The FCC issued a $120 million fine against a Miami salesman accused of making nearly 100 million robocalls in less than a few months.

Published   |  Photo by Reuters/Toby Melville
City workers make phone calls outside the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square in the City of London at lunchtime October 1, 2008.
$120 million

The scheme was set up using a “neighbor spoofing” tactic, mirroring local area codes that would make nearby targets more likely to pick up a masked phone call.

City workers make phone calls outside the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square in the City of London at lunchtime October 1, 2008.
$120 million

If people did answer, automated systems pitched deals citing Expedia and TripAdvisor, then attempted to sell unrelated timeshares and travel packages through agents at foreign call centers.

City workers make phone calls outside the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square in the City of London at lunchtime October 1, 2008.
$120 million

Adrian Abramovich said he hadn’t caused any harm, claiming 96% of the calls had been less than a minute and he shouldn’t be punished for ones under five minutes.

City workers make phone calls outside the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square in the City of London at lunchtime October 1, 2008.
$120 million

FCC chairman Ajit Pai called the defense “unconvincing” in a statement, noting many elderly people were duped and one company’s emergency communications systems had been disrupted.

City workers make phone calls outside the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square in the City of London at lunchtime October 1, 2008.
$120 million

“I haven’t met a single American who likes getting these kinds of robocalls, regardless of length,” Pai added.

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