The Federal Communications Commission today proposed a $12,910,000 fine against an individual for apparently using caller ID spoofing in thousands of robocalls that targeted specific communities with the intent to cause harm.
For example, the caller made unlawful, spoofed robocalls to target a community grappling with the recent murder of a local woman, threaten a journalist and newspaper, and attempt to influence a jury. Additionally, the caller made unlawful, spoofed robocalls related to political campaigns in California, Florida, and Georgia.
The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau led an investigation that found six apparent campaigns by this caller. The caller appears to have used an online calling platform to intentionally manipulate caller ID information so that the calls he was making appeared to come from local numbers – a technique called “neighbor spoofing.”
The caller was apparently motivated by a belief that these actions would result in media notoriety and accordingly would enable him to increase publicity for his website and personal brand.
The proposed action is not final, and the party will be given an opportunity to respond. The FCC will consider the party’s submission of evidence and legal arguments before acting further to resolve the matter.