FCC: Illegal robocalls traced to South Florida draw biggest fine ever

A federal agency has proposed its largest fine ever, $120 million, for illegal robocalls that “spoofed” or falsely identified the caller.

An investigation led them to a man in South Florida they say is responsible for a stunning 97 million such automated calls in the last quarter of 2016 alone.

The Federal Communications Commission said in a written order Thursday that Adrian Abramovich of Miami “is the perpetrator of one of the largest — and most dangerous — illegal robocalling campaigns that the Commission has ever investigated, making nearly 100 million robocalls in just a three-month period.”

The calls disrupted emergency lines, at one point tying up a medical paging company, and misled consumers to think they were getting deals from companies like TripAdvisor, Expedia, Marriott and Hilton, officials said. Instead, consumers pressing 1 were directed to a discount-travel call center not affiliated with the brand-name firms, according to the agency.

Federal officials say making prerecorded telemarketing phone calls to people without prior consent is prohibited, and so is making them to emergency lines and deliberately falsifying caller ID to disguise identity with the intent to harm or defraud consumers.

An attempt to reach Abramovich for comment was not successful. He has 30 days to respond to the FCC’s proposed action.

He has formed more than a dozen companies in Florida including Marketing Strategy Leaders on Bayshore Drive in Miami, records show. Many were dissolved within a year.

Documents say his “mass robocalling campaigns violate the Communications Act, and his misrepresentations in the prerecorded messages constitute criminal wire fraud.”

 

 

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