On August 3, 2023, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) “issued a record-breaking $299,997,000 fine for auto warranty scam robocalls made by the largest illegal robocall operation the agency has ever investigated.”
As readers of this blog know, the penalty comes on the heels of Operation Stop Spam Calls, a major crackdown on the telemarketing industry spearheaded by the Federal Trade Commission and 101 other federal and state law enforcement agencies (including the FCC).
Dating back to at least 2018, the subject robocalling enterprise allegedly violated several federal telemarketing regulations by placing unsolicited telemarketing calls to consumers throughout the United States. The Commission explained that during a three-month span in 2021 alone, the international network initiated more than five billion robocalls to more than 500 million phone numbers. The record-breaking fine announced this week was issued as a result of the parties’ failure to respond to the Commission’s serious allegations.
Operation Stop Spam Calls continues to expand, with state and federal regulatory agencies announcing their commitment to the cause. In fact, the FCC has announced that forty-six states have joined with the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau “to share evidence, coordinate investigations, pool enforcement resources, and work together to combat illegal robocall campaigns and protect American consumers from scams.”
The recent regulatory action serves as a further warning to those engaged in unsolicited telemarketing; namely, that such practices are riskier than ever. In addition to the governmental crackdown, businesses must continue to protect themselves against private rights of action and the prospect of class-action lawsuits.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, if done correctly, telemarketing continues to be a very effective and lucrative marketing tool. With great risk comes great reward; which is why it is imperative that any company operating in the telemarketing space hire the right counsel. Without the proper guidance, companies may find themselves subject to a governmental investigation or the defendant in a telemarketing lawsuit.
If you require assistance with preventing your business from becoming the subject of an FCC investigation or lawsuit, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (212) 246-0900.
The material contained herein is provided for information purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.
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