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Right-Wing Robocall Activists Face $1.25M Fine in NY

Calls claimed that details of mail-in voters in 2020 would be passed to police, credit card firms

(Newser) - Another state has punished two men behind a robocall campaign that sought to suppress mail-in voting in 2020. Right-wing activists Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman will pay fines of up to $1.25 million in a settlement agreement in New York, the Washington Post reports. The campaign contacted around 5,...

FCC Outlaws AI-Generated Voices in Robocalls

Steep fines await those who attempt to use the technology to manipulate voters, scam people

(Newser) - The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday outlawed robocalls that contain voices generated by artificial intelligence, a decision that sends a clear message that exploiting the technology to scam people and mislead voters won't be tolerated. The unanimous ruling targets robocalls made with AI voice-cloning tools under the Telephone Consumer...

Biden 'Robocall' to NH Dems: Stay Home

Fake robocall tells them that their vote is needed in November, not Tuesday

(Newser) - Imagine your level of surprise if you answered the phone in an election year and the presidential candidate from your party was asking for money or support: As surprising as when the Buffalo Bills fail to win a clutch game again . Now imagine your level of surprise if that candidate...

Firm Hit With Robocalls Suit: 'Americans Are Sick and Tired'

Attorneys general team up in complaint against Avid Telecom, accused of making 7.5B robocalls

(Newser) - Attorneys general across the US joined in a lawsuit against a telecommunications company accused of making more than 7.5 billion robocalls to people on the National Do Not Call Registry. The 141-page lawsuit was filed Tuesday in US District Court in Phoenix against Avid Telecom, owner Michael Lansky, and...

Activists Behind 'Despicable' Robocalls Hear Their Fate

Jack Burkman, Jacob Wohl tried to suppress Black votes in 2020

(Newser) - After a 2020 robocalling scheme that tried to dissuade tens of thousands of voters in multiple Midwestern states from casting their ballots by mail in that year's election, Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl were hit with a $5 million fine from the Federal Communications Commission; in October, the far-right...

FCC Targets Source of 77M Robocalls Per Day

Orders US phone companies to block calls asking about vehicle warranties

(Newser) - The FCC has ordered US phone companies to block millions of illegal robocalls advertising extended vehicle warranties, which were the largest source of consumer complaints to the FCC in each of the past two years, per CNN . More than 8 billion robocalls to US consumers since 2018 have claimed a...

Right-Wing Activists Face $5M Fine for Election Disinformation

FCC proposes largest ever fine for TCPA violation for Jacob Wohl, Jack Burkman

(Newser) - Two conservative activists were trying to suppress minority voters in largely Democratic areas when they made more than 1,100 unlawful robocalls offering false claims about mail-in voting in the 2020 presidential election, according to the FCC , which hopes to levy its largest fine ever proposed for a robocall operation...

It's the 'Most Meaningful Regulatory Action Ever' on Robocalls
It's the 'Most
Regulatory Action
Ever' on Robocalls
in case you missed it

It's the 'Most Meaningful Regulatory Action Ever' on Robocalls

FCC requiring phone providers to verify phone number before call is made

(Newser) - If you've noticed a recent drop in spam calls, thank the Federal Communications Commission. As of June 30, major US phone providers must use caller ID authentication meant to block spoofed robocalls, costing Americans some $10 billion annually, and help "law enforcement track bad actors," according to...

FCC Slaps Spam Callers With Record $225M Fine

Texas-based telemarketers send out more than 1B calls

(Newser) - Under a bill Congress passed in 2019, spammers can be fined up to $10,000 for a single robocall. The fine handed out to two Texas-based telemarketers Wednesday worked out to less than 5 cents per robocall, but it was still a new record for the Federal Communications Commission. The...

Vaccine Scams Are Already Happening
Vaccine Scams
Are Already
the rundown

Vaccine Scams Are Already Happening

Homeland Security agents are already chasing down fake websites

(Newser) - If you're seeing coronavirus vaccine deals, look again: US officials say they're almost certainly scams. Whether by email, phone, or online, scammers are angling to take advantage of our desire for inoculation. "If you're receiving unsolicited offers for a vaccine—not one, not two, but about...

Robocalls Told Voters to 'Stay Safe, Stay Home'

But there were few incidents of intimidation

(Newser) - The FBI says it is looking into reports of robocalls aimed at discouraging voting on Election Day—including some that told voters in Michigan they could be arrested for outstanding warrants if they went to the polls. The BBC reports that millions of voters in multiple states received calls saying,...

Political Operatives Might Have Gone Too Far This Time

Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman are accused of masterminding 'fake' robocalls

(Newser) - A pair of right-wing operatives are facing serious charges in Michigan that could put them behind bars for years, the Washington Post reports. Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman—famed for their conspiracy theories and aggressive tactics—allegedly intimidated urban voters with robocalls designed to suppress mail-in voting. The calls targeted...

Court Shuts Down Firms Behind Millions of Robocalls

Owners are out of the robocall business for good

(Newser) - You may not have heard of Nicholas and Natasha Palumbo, but chances are they're responsible for annoying you at some point. The Justice Department says the Arizona couple and two companies they own have been permanently banned from sending robocalls to any American phone numbers or providing any other...

Robocalls Won't End With Trump's Signature

Enforcement of new law won't be easy, but free call-blocking services are coming

(Newser) - An anti-robocall measure signed into law Monday by President Trump should help reduce the torrent of unwanted calls promising lower interest rates or pretending to be the IRS, though it won't make all such calls disappear, reports the AP . Under federal law, it's already illegal to fake numbers...

Robocall Crackdown Passes, Raising Fines to $10K Per Ring

Legislation to help consumers know they're getting a spam call

(Newser) - Americans have received 54 billion spam calls this year — total, though it may seem like we each got that many. That number could drop under legislation that cleared Congress on Thursday, raising potential fines for robocallers to $10,000 per call. Major carriers also will have to start using...

Major Carriers Pledge Action on Robocalls

Americans are getting nearly 5B of them a month

(Newser) - Major phone companies have pledged to do more to fight robocalls plaguing Americans, the country's state attorneys general say. It's the latest step from government and industry to combat the growing problem, the AP reports. Americans get nearly 5 billion automated calls from scammers, telemarketers, debt collectors, and...

Hate Robocalls? Here's Some Good News
FCC Makes Big Move
on Robocalls

FCC Makes Big Move on Robocalls

Votes to give phone companies the right to block them without customer permission

(Newser) - Federal regulators voted Thursday to give phone companies the right to block unwanted calls without getting customers' permission first, the AP reports. The Federal Communications Commission's move could make call-blocking widespread and help consumers dodge annoying robocalls, which have exploded into a problem that pesters Americans on the level...

Plagued by Robocalls? Help May Be Coming

The volume of calls is now at about 5B a month

(Newser) - New measures by US regulators could help thwart some of the billions of robocalls received across America. The FCC said Wednesday that it will vote in June on whether to let wireless carriers block spam calls by default, which should mean that more spam calls are blocked. Right now, customers...

Beware of One-Ring Robocall Scam
Don't Return
Robocalls, FCC Warns

Don't Return Robocalls, FCC Warns

Scam profits from toll charges

(Newser) - Returning a robocall can cost money. The FCC has warned consumers not to fall for a scam involving calls that ring once. The idea is to get people to call back, UPI reports, which can incur a toll charge like the one for calling a 900 number. That profits the...

FTC Shuts Down Robocall Spammers
Robocallers Get
a Little Payback

Robocallers Get a Little Payback

FTC shuts down and fines 4 big operations

(Newser) - The FTC took a step this week in cracking down on the widespread—and annoying—problem of illegally spamming robocalls. The agency stopped and fined four prolific robospamming operations, which had been using automatic dialers to flood customers with billions of predatory calls, reports Gizmodo . The FTC announced that Higher...

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