In what has been called “the most egregious neighbor-spoofing robocalling scheme” ever, Adrian Abramovich of Miami, FL, stands accused of inundating consumers with 97m “robocalls” between 2015 and 2016 — resulting in a proposed $120m fine.
He appeared before a US Senate committee on Wednesday to fight the hefty penalty, stating his activities were “significantly overstated” and that he is “not the kingpin of robocalling that is alleged.”
He claims to be legit
In June, the FCC alleged Abramovich’s calls offered fake vacation deals from companies like Marriott, TripAdvisor, and a few others — a direct violation of US telecommunications laws.
But Abramovich denied engaging in “fraudulent activities” (while pleading the 5th on certain questions) — telling the Senate he had been a telemarketer for more than 15 years and that his calls offered real vacation packages.
Regardless, we’re not sure what ground this guy has to stand on…
The FCC and FTC have made it clear that robocalling is highly illegal unless otherwise specified (who’s the sad sap looking to get robocalled?).
Yet US consumers still receive nearly 2.5B robocalls a month — Florida, in particular, ranked #3 in the nation for the most received robocalls back in March with 244m.
Until recently, existing regulations have been hard to enforce. But in November of last year the FCC approved new rules that allow phone companies to proactively block calls likely to be fraudulent — making it a whooole lot harder to be a telemarketer these days.