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FCC cracks down on ‘auto warranty’ robocalls

Thursday’s order from the FCC requires voice service providers to stop forwarding calls the agency has linked to 13 people and six businesses, mostly based in Texas and California, but also in places as far apart as the Hungary.

The robocalls produced by the group typically begin with recorded lines such as “We tried to reach you regarding your car’s extended warranty,” the FCC order reads.

These calls have been the largest source of consumer complaints to the FCC in each of the past two years, totaling thousands of complaints per year.

Under its program, the group purchased access to nearly half a million phone numbers from more than 200 area codes in fall and winter 2020, the FCC said, then the used to trick recipients into believing that robocalls were coming. from local numbers.

The group still makes millions of illegal calls every day, the FCC added.

Although the FCC has previously notified US telecommunications companies of the robocalls, Thursday’s order is the first to force carriers to stop transmitting them. By exposing the specific people and entities behind the calls, the FCC provided the information needed to block them, FCC Acting Chief Enforcement Officer Loyaan Egal said in a statement.

With few exceptions, robocalls made without the recipient’s consent are illegal under US law.

In light of Thursday’s order, telecommunications companies that continue to route the illegal calls could be held liable themselves, the FCC said.