FCC Cites Robocallers For Millions of Illegal Calls To Wireless Phones
Federal Communications Commission
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D. C. 20554
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC, 515 F.2d 385 (D.C. Cir. 1974).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:
March 15, 2013
Mark Wigfield, 202-418-0253
FCC ENFORCEMENT BUREAU WARNS PURVEYORS OF ROBOCALLS: “DON’T
CALL US . . . (OR) WE’LL CALL YOU.”
Citations Issued To Robocallers That Made Millions Of Calls To Wireless Phones Without
Washington, D.C. –Two providers of automatically dialed calls using prerecorded or artificial
voice messages—“robocalls”—were issued citations today for making millions of robocalls to
wireless phones without prior authorization from the call recipients. The FCC Enforcement
Bureau’s Telecommunications Consumers Division conducted investigations and issued citations
to Dialing Services, LLC and Richard Gilmore (d/b/a Democratic Dialing), respectively.
In its investigations, the Bureau uncovered evidence that Dialing Services, LLC and Democratic
Dialing each made in excess of one million calls to wireless phones without the recipient’s
authorization during certain months in 2011 and/or 2012. The investigations also showed that
each company failed to provide certain identification information required under federal law.
“Consumers have increasingly been sounding the alarm on robocalls, rightly complaining about
unwanted, intrusive cell phone calls and text messages from strangers, or worse yet computers,”
said Michele Ellison, Chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. “These citations set the stage for
significant monetary penalties if violations continue,” Ms. Ellison warned.
The Communications Act and the Commission’s rules generally prohibit robocalls and
autodialed calls (including autodialed live calls, prerecorded or artificial voice messages, and
autodialed text messages) to wireless phones and other mobile services (such as paging systems),
unless the calls are made for emergency purposes, or the calls are made with the prior express
consent of the called party. The Bureau’s investigations showed that none of the calls made by
either company were for an emergency purpose. When FCC staff spoke to a sampling of call
recipients directly, not one of them had ever given permission to anyone to robocall them on
their wireless phones.
The citations require each company to certify within fifteen calendar days that it has ceased
making robocalls to wireless phones without prior authorization, and that the calls it makes
include the required identifications. Issuance of citations is the required first step before the FCC
could impose fines of up to $4.8 million for the particular violations at issue in the citations.
Robocallers who make illegal calls to wireless phones may be liable for penalties of $16,000 per
call, resulting in fines that could reach tens of millions of dollars or more, depending on the
volume of violations.
Dialing Services, LLC—Citation:
Richard Gilmore (d/b/a Democratic Dialing)—Citation:
FCC Enforcement Advisory on Autodialed and Prerecorded Calls (Sept. 2012):
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