The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Wednesday proposed a record-breaking fine of nearly $300 million for an alleged robocall scheme that involved billions of calls about auto warranties.
The agency said its proposed $299.997 million fine follows the largest robocall operation the FCC has ever investigated, alleging Roy Cox Jr., and Michael Aaron Jones made more than 5 billion robocalls designed to sell vehicle service contracts deceptively marketed as car warranties.
The pair allegedly began making the calls as early as 2018, placing 5.19 billion calls to 550 million phone numbers between January 2021 and March 2021.
The individuals allegedly spoofed the phone numbers of hospitals for some of the calls, which were placed during the pandemic, leading confused people to call the hospitals to complain. Other alleged calls originated from foreign entities but were spoofed to make the caller ID appear local to the U.S.
“The calls then misrepresented the product or service being offered and made false or misleading statements to induce call recipients to purchase goods or services,” the FCC said.