Adrian Abramovich from Miami, best known as the “robocall scammer,” may end up paying a $120 million fine for allegedly making over 96 million fake calls in violation of the Truth in Caller ID Act that aims to protect user privacy and prevent fraud, announced The Federal Communications Commission.
The Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 specifically bans “spoofing with the intent to cause harm, defraud, or wrongfully obtain anything of value.”
For three months, Abramovich launched a vacation scam based on “neighbor spoofing” that targeted the elderly. Once they answered the phone, believing the call was from a local number, they were tricked into listening to advertising for exclusive vacation packages from reputable companies such as Marriott, Expedia, Hilton and TripAdvisor.
Without callers knowing, they would be transferred to call centers in other countries where employees tried to sell them packages involving timeshares. The FCC received a high number of consumer complaints.
“I have daily – sometimes multiple times [a] day – inbound spoofed calls (same area code and prefix as my own phone number) purporting to be from [Marriott] . . .,” read one complaint.
In 2016, TripAdvisor issued a complaint, saying it was not affiliated to the call centers, and an investigation came across Abramovich.
“In addition, Spōk, a medical paging provider that serves hospitals, emergency rooms, and physicians, complained to Commission staff that an illegal robocalling campaign was disrupting its network,” the FCC said.
Before a final decision is made, the FCC is willing to listen to his side of the story.