On Friday, the Federal Communications Commission‘s( FCC) Robocall Response Team announced that the Enforcement Bureau has ordered phone companies to stop carrying traffic regarding a known robocall scam marketing auto warranties.
The agency mandated U.S. providers to stop carrying traffic originating from the Sumco Panama company and the two people allegedly behind it, Aaron Michael Jones and Roy Cox. Jr., both of California.
Building on FCC action earlier this month, all U.S. voice service providers must now take all necessary steps to avoid carrying this robocall traffic. This operation is also the target of an ongoing investigation by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau and a lawsuit by the Ohio Attorney General.
The group is accused of making more than 8 billion robocalls to U.S. consumers since 2018, marketing an auto-warranty scam, records show.
“We are not going to tolerate robocall scammers or those that help make their scams possible,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement. “Consumers are out of patience and I’m right there with them.”
Earlier this month, the agency sent cease-and-desist letters to a number of carriers to halt the calls, including Call Pipe, Fugle Telecom, Geist Telecom, Global Lynks, Mobi Telecom, South Dakota Telecom, SipKonnect and Virtual Telecom.
The move places on phone companies the burden of taking down one of the country’s most prolific scammers by forcing them to clip its ability to reach consumers.
“Now that U.S. voice service providers know the individuals and entities associated with this scheme, the Enforcement Bureau will closely monitor voice service providers’ compliance with this order and take appropriate enforcement action as necessary,” said Acting FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Loyaan A. Egal.
These “auto warranty” scam robocalls, which typically claim that a person’s car warranty or auto insurance is set to expire, have led to more complaints to the FCC than any other form of unwanted call, the report said.
The FCC shared the following tips to protect yourself from robocall scams:
- Don’t Share. Do not provide any personal information to anyone that calls you unexpectedly.
- Be Aware. Telephone scammers are good at what they do and may use real information to gain your trust and imply that they work for a company you trust.
- Caller ID. Criminals might use “spoofing” to deliberately falsify the information transmitted.
- Double Check. If you think it might be a legitimate call, hang up and call the company with which you have an established business relationship using a phone number from a previous bill or on their website.
- Let Us Know. File a complaint with the FCC: https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/.