Federal laws and FCC regulations protect consumers in the United States from unsolicited messages by placing limits on how, when, where, and why a caller may use particular kinds of telephone technologies. Additionally, FCC rules obligate telecommunications providers to take steps to combat unlawful robocalling and help consumers avoid unwanted messages.
- Robocalls, Telemarketing Calls, and Junk Faxes. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) restricts unsolicited advertisements both by phone call and by fax, and the use of automatic telephone dialing systems (autodialers) and prerecorded/artificial voice messages (i.e, robocalls). Restrictions are generally tightest when such calls (including text messages) are made to cell phones or other protected destinations like emergency lines, hospital rooms, or care facilities.
- Calls to Cell Phones and Other Protected Destinations. The TCPA generally prohibits all non-emergency autodialed and prerecorded calls to cell phones unless the called party has given prior express consent. Consent must be in writing if a prerecorded or autodialed call contains an advertisement. If the cell phone number is on the National Do-Not-Call Registry, all advertising calls – including manually-dialed and live ones – are prohibited unless the called party has an established business relationship with the caller or the called party has given prior express written consent.
- Calls to Residential Landlines. The TCPA generally prohibits prerecorded advertising calls to residential landline numbers unless the called party has given prior express written consent. If the residential landline number is on the National Do-Not-Call Registry, all advertising calls – including live ones – are prohibited unless the called party has an established business relationship with the caller or the called party has given prior express written consent. The TCPA does not restrict non-advertising prerecorded or autodialed calls to landlines.
- Robotexts. Robotexts have proliferated and become particularly problematic. As more people are using smart devices, robotext scams are on the rise and extremely troubling because scammers can add malicious links, allowing them to gain access to personal data on a phone when the consumer clicks on the link. Using this personal data, scammers can gain access to email accounts, bank accounts, etc.
- Malicious Caller ID Spoofing. Under the Truth in Caller ID Act (TICIDA), Section 227(e) prohibits someone from causing the display of false or misleading caller ID (spoofing) with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain something of value.
- Robocall Mitigation Database Enforcement. The FCC requires voice service providers to file certifications in the Robocall Mitigation Database regarding their efforts to fight illegal robocalls on their networks.
- Reassigned Numbers Database Enforcement. Providers that receive numbering resources from the North American Numbering Plan must report disconnection information on a monthly basis to the Reassigned Numbers Database (RND). The RND helps consumers avoid getting unwanted calls by persons/entities trying to reach the previous owner/user of a telephone number.
Enforcement Bureau Initiatives and Issued Robocall Actions Since 8/1/2016
|Target||FCC Action1||Date||Forfeiture Amount|
|Call Pipe LLC||Cease-and-Desist Letter||7/7/2022||N/A|
|Fugle Telecom LLC||Cease-and-Desist Letter||7/7/2022||N/A|
|Geist Telecom LLC||Cease-and-Desist Letter||7/7/2022||N/A|
|Global Lynks LLC||Cease-and-Desist Letter||7/7/2022||N/A|
|Mobi Telecom LLC||Cease-and-Desist Letter||7/7/2022||N/A|
|South Dakota Telecom LLC||Cease-and-Desist Letter||7/7/2022||N/A|
|SipKonnect LLC||Cease-and-Desist Letter||7/7/2022||N/A|
|Virtual Telecom Inc.||Cease-and-Desist Letter||7/7/2022||N/A|
|Roy Cox, Jr., Aaron Michael Jones, their individual associates, and associated entities Sumco Panama S.A., Sumco Panama Inc., Tech Direct LLC, Posting Express Inc., 7 Sundays Inc.and Texas Outdoor Adventures Inc.||Public Notice||7/7/2022||N/A|
|Airespring, Inc.||Cease-and-Desist Letter||3/22/2022||N/A|
|Hello Hello Miami, LLC||Cease-and-Desist Letter||3/22/2022||N/A|
|thinQ Technologies, Inc.||Cease-and-Desist Letter||3/22/2022||N/A|
|Gregory Robbins, Interstate Brokers of America LLC, National Health Agents LLC||NAL||2/22/2022||$45,000,000|
|Great Choice Telecom LLC||Cease-and-Desist Letter||2/10/2022||N/A|
|Telecom Carrier Access, Inc. dba TCA Voip||Cease-and-Desist Letter||2/10/2022||N/A|
|Duratel LLC||Cease-and-Desist Letter||10/21/2021||N/A|
|Primo Dialler LLC||Cease-and-Desist Letter||10/21/2021||N/A|
|PZ/Illum Telecommunication LLC||Cease-and-Desist Letter||10/21/2021||N/A|
|John M. Burkman, Jacob Alexander Wohl, J.M. Burkman & Associates LLC||NAL||8/23/2021||$5,134,500|
|Prestige DR VoIP||Cease-and-Desist Letter||5/18/2021||N/A|
|VaultTel Solutions||Cease-and-Desist Letter||5/18/2021||N/A|
|R Squared Telecom LLC||Cease-and-Desist Letter||4/13/2021||N/A|
|John C. Spiller; Jakob A. Mears; Rising Eagle Capital Group LLC; JSquared Telecom LLC; Only Web Leads LLC; Rising Phoenix Group; Rising Phoenix Holdings; RPG Leads; and Rising Eagle Capital Group – Cayman||Forfeiture Order||3/18/2021||$225,000,000|
|Icon Global Services||Cease-and-Desist Letter||3/17/2021||N/A|
|IDT Corporation||Cease-and-Desist Letter||3/17/2021||N/A|
|Stratics Networks||Cease-and-Desist Letter||3/17/2021||N/A|
|Third Rock Telecom||Cease-and-Desist Letter||3/17/2021||N/A|
|Yodel Technologies, LLC||Cease-and-Desist Letter||3/17/2021||N/A|
|Scott Rhodes a.k.a. Scott David Rhodes, Scott D. Rhodes, Scott Platek, Scott P. Platek||Forfeiture Order||1/14/2021||$9,918,000|
|Kenneth Moser dba Marketing Support Systems||Forfeiture Order||11/19/2020||$9,997,750|
|Citation and Order||12/13/2019||N/A|
|Affordable Enterprises of Arizona, LLC||Forfeiture Order||10/28/2020||$37,525,000|
|Citation and Order||9/26/2018||N/A|
|PTGi Carrier Services||Cease-and-Desist Letter2||5/20/2020||N/A|
|VoIP Terminator||Cease-and-Desist Letter||4/3/2020||N/A|
|Dante Sciarra, D&D Global Enterprises, LLC||Citation and Order||11/27/2019||N/A|
|Emanuel “Manny” Hernandez; Click Cash Marketing, LLC; Rock Solid Traffic||Citation and Order||12/21/2018||N/A|
|Best Insurance Contracts, Inc. and Philip Roesel dba Wilmington Insurance Quotes||Forfeiture Order||9/26/2018||$82,106,000|
|Citation and Order||8/4/2017||N/A|
|Dialing Services, LLC||Forfeiture Order||7/26/2018||$2,880,000|
|Adrian Abramovich/ Marketing Strategy Leaders||Forfeiture Order||5/10/2018||$120,000,000|
|Citation and Order||6/22/2017||N/A|
|Steven Blumenstock||Forfeiture Order||1/13/2017||$25,000|
|Yakim Jordan a/k/a Manasseh Jordan, Prophet Manasseh Jordan, Prophet M Jordan, Yakim Manasseh Robert Jordan, Yakim Manasseh Jordan, Wakim Jordan, Manasseh Jordan Ministries||Citation and Order||9/13/2016||N/A|
2 Issued jointly with FTC.