FCC Moves Forward In Auto Warranty Spam Call Crackdown With New Order

AI generated image of a telephone laying in front of an automobile

July 22, 2022 - The FCC on Thursday released an order notifying all U.S. phone carriers to stop carrying illegal spam calls from notorious robocaller groups known as Cox/Jones/Sumco Panama Operation who are said to be responsible for 8 billion auto warranty related spam calls. The FCC alleges that the group purchased nearly 500,000 phone numbers from over 200 area codes and used spoofing software to make most of the calls appear to be coming from an area local to the recipient. Recipients would hear an automated message about their vehicle warranty expiring and prompting them to hit a number on the keypad in order to speak with an agent.

Earlier in July, the Commission sent cease and desist to a handful of carriers known to be servicing the spammers, with instructions to block the calls within 48 hours or face further action. Thursday's order was released in response to these carriers' failure to respond to the initial letters within 14 days.

Now that the response deadline has passed and this order has been established, other voice carriers will be required to investigate and block the spam traffic from the aforementioned unresponsive carriers and originating spammers or to provide a written report to the Commission describing the results of their investigation and explaining why they are unable to block the traffic. This may be no easy feat, however, as the FCC notes that even today the group is making millions of spam calls daily.

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