FCC Issues Cease and Desist Order on Robocalls

Two companies will have 48 hours to mitigate the potentially illegal traffic.

FCC Issues Cease and Desist Order on Robocalls
Robocall graphic. Used with permission.

WASHINGTON, December 20, 2023 – The Federal Communications Commission issued a cease and desist on Wednesday to two companies accused of facilitating illegal robocalls.

The companies, Solid Double and CallWin, are required to block traffic from certain callers identified by the commission’s Enforcement Bureau as bad actors and report those efforts to the FCC in the next two days. Both will also have to detail plans to prevent future robocalls to the commission within 14 days.

“Providers that allow illegal traffic face serious consequences,” FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Loyaan Egal said in a statement. “We will not hesitate to take decisive action to protect consumers.”

The FCC has indeed taken an aggressive stance on scam calls and text in recent months. In August the commission expanded its STIR/SHAKEN regime, a protocol for verifying caller identities, to all providers handling call traffic and moved in October to blacklist 20 providers for lax robocall prevention policies.

Commissioners also adopted rules at their December open meeting that place more stringent consent requirements on companies looking to send automated calls and texts to customers.

In this case, Solid Double is accused of facilitating spoofed traffic – calls purporting to be from a different number than is actually placing the call – from at least one entity and potentially others, including one the FCC said it identified by the name of “Sham Telecom.”

The business whose number was being used by spoofers alerted the FCC through a spoof reporting portal after receiving calls from targeted consumers, making Solid Double the first provider on the receiving end of an enforcement action initiated by the portal.

As for CallWin, the company is accused of originating robocall campaigns from at least four entities that did not obtain consent from the consumers they targeted.

The commission said in a statement that Solid Double and CallWin could have all their traffic blacklisted if the two providers do not comply with the order. The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Commissioners asked Congress to take action to further strengthen the agency’s robocall authorities at a House oversight hearing on December 1, including widening the scope of technologies covered by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and giving the FCC the ability to collect fines from illegal robocallers.

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