Record $300m fine for robocall scammers

Originally published at: Record $300m fine for robocall scammers | Boing Boing


Unfortunately history is not encouraging: the below from Arstechnica:

Cox was banned from telemarketing in a 2013 settlement with the FTC, which accused him of sending “illegal robocalls offering credit card interest rate reduction programs, extended automobile warranties, and home security systems.” At the time, the FTC said that Cox was issued “a $1.1 million civil penalty that will be suspended due to his inability to pay.”

In 2017, the FTC obtained a similar telemarketing ban on Jones. He was also fined $2.7 million, but, as with Cox, the fine was “suspended based on his inability to pay.”

When you’ve already banned people from telemarking and already let their fines off without a fine because they know how to hide assets there’s a reason to suspect that a bigger fine is not the tool for the job.


I’m normally opposed to the idea of debtors prison but I’d be tempted to make an exception in this case.


Probably safer to avoid debtor’s prisons; but stop treating this sort of activity as a matter for civil penalties. Prolific fraud ought to be very serious business; and being a spammer is basically incompatible with moral personhood.


Scary thing is, it must work. Even if I wanted a shitty car warranty, I would never do business with anyone who used these tactics. Obviously, there are those that do.


I’ve stopped seeing fines, regardless of the amount, as anything other than theater except for regular citizens who don’t have the resources to flout the law. If you don’t have any reasonable expectation of actually collecting, it’s not actually a punishment.

For regular debts I’m opposed to it as well, but for failure to pay fines I’m all for it. Unless there’s real teeth behind the levying of fines, they’ll just be laughed at, the same way Alex Jones is currently laughing off his $1.5 billion fine and continuing to broadcast his bullshit - often talking about the same subject he was fined for.


Every time I get one of these calls (much, much less recently), I think of an elderly couple confused and just sort of yelling miscommunications back and forth until they give up their Cc info. On a fun day this might look like George Costanza’s parents, but usually it just looks like all the poor farmer folk I grew up with.

“Ma, did you forget to pay the warr’ny?”

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I knew a nuclear engineer, previously quite keen, who in her old age became gullible, questioning the moon landing and such based on research found on FB. Old age comes for us all.


I’m kind of amazed that my parents haven’t fallen into the apeshit conspiracy vortex of the past few years. Sure, they both voted for trump and my dad was spouting microchip/NWO/UN/Christian persecution shit since the 70s, but somehow they have remained pretty distant and self-preserving. Minor miracle.


Instead of the robocallers they need to go after the companies who hired them. Make it financially painful for the one who paid for the robocallers.


I’m reading the instructions on how to pay the fine, but doesn’t the US Government prefer to be paid in gift cards?

  • Payment by credit card must be made by using CORES at FCC Registration - Login To pay by credit card, log-in using the FCC Username associated to the FRN captioned above. If payment must be split across FRNs, complete this process for each FRN. Next, select “Manage Existing FRNs | FRN Financial | Bills & Fees” from the CORES Menu, then select FRN Financial and the view/make payments option next to the FRN. Select the “Open Bills” tab and find the bill number associated with the NAL Acct. No. The bill number is the NAL Acct. No. with the first two digits excluded (e.g., NAL 1912345678 would be associated with FCC Bill Number 12345678). After selecting the bill for payment, choose the “Pay by Credit Card” option. Please note that there is a $24,999.99 limit on credit card transactions.


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I get it. I have a few of those in my family too.

There is an age-old scam where someone calls up and says, “Hey, Deadbeat! This is XYZ company and we’re about to send the Sheriff, but I thought I’d give you one last chance to pay the money you owe us.” I don’t know how many people end up paying, but it isn’t zero.

Special place in hell, or at least prison, for those that prey on the vulnerable.


These people should be in a cell. Their entire business model depends on financial elder abuse.


i got one of those calls telling me that the sheriff would be coming for me if i didn’t “settle” the bill/ fine/ whatever. i told the caller that it was a small area and the sheriff new where i lived.
“tell Sheriff Rick i’ll be on the front porch.”


Consider for a moment the sheer volume of calls these boneheads were putting out! There’s absolutely no way that is not a ‘smack-you-in-the -forehead’ sized signal in the telephone company’s metadata.

…no different than the piles of [physical] junk mail that we receive without any ability to opt out (nothing that actually works anyway! …looking at you Red Plum! :rage:). Someway or another the medium is getting propped-up/kick-backs for wasting our time & resources.

If it’s not addressed to “occupant”, I’ve heard Form 1500 works, dunno if it’s still true or if it ever actually worked. The USPS has to treat it as porn if you called it porn, and unsolicited porn gets a whole ton of fines. Got to admit, I’ve been tempted at times.

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Given the misery they have chosen to inflict upon millions; and given that they have chosen to continue doing so, laws be damned… it seems drastic measures are called for:

DOXX the bastards!

Why should they continue to prosper from flouting laws with impunity?
Let these Lord Dampnut wannabes Find Out now!

They tried this on my younger sister (she’s >70) and she verified that the Sheriff would be coming to JAIL THEM … she told them “Thank GOODNESS! We’re almost out of food and we can live rent free in jail with free food too.”

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