FCC Wants to Fine a Robocaller $10 Million For Spreading Lies About Politician

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The Federal Communications Commission has proposed that a robocall firm pay about $10 million in fines for spamming Californians with lies about a state assembly candidate.

An investigation by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau found that Kenneth Moser and a telemarketing operation he runs allegedly made about 47,000 illegal robocalls over the course of two days. These calls shared “false accusations against a political candidate” about a week before the state’s 2018 primary election, according to a statement from the FCC. Spoofed numbers suggested the calls were made through HomeyTel, a separate telemarketing firm “with which Moser has had a long and contentious relationship.”

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The FCC said that the robocalls “made allegations about a specific candidate which had already been investigated and disproven by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.”

The Enforcement Bureau began its investigation after the California Secretary of State passed on a complaint about the issue. The bureau determined that the robocall campaign violated the Truth in Caller ID Act, which outlaws falsifying call identification information for the purpose of causing harm or defrauding someone.

The organization also found that, by sending thousands of voicemails without consent of the recipients, Moser violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which requires that prerecorded message contain the identity and phone number of whoever made the call. The Bureau issued Moser a citation for this violation.

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About the author

Jennings Brown

Former senior reporter at Gizmodo