The Federal Communications Commission is proposing a $13 million fine against a company accused of using caller ID spoofing to make thousands of robocalls, but at least one of the agency’s commissioners is arguing that the FCC did not go far enough.
Scott Rhodes is accused of violating the Truth in Caller ID Act for making calls to individuals in six different states, largely to make racist and anti-Semitic comments in an attempt to gain “media notoriety” that would “enable him to increase publicity for his website and personal brand,” according to the FCC.
“Today, we begin to hold Rhodes accountable for his apparent violations of the law,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement. The FCC’s action “makes clear this Commission’s determination to go after those who are unlawfully bombarding the American people with spoofed robocalls.”
In his statement, Pai thanked the Congressmen behind the TRACED Act, saying the “additional tools provided by the TRACED Act will help us continue our fight against illegal robocalls and to provide relief to the American people.”
But Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, one of the only Democrats leading the FCC, strongly dissented against the fine, saying it wasn’t high enough. Because the perpetrator engaged in six different robocall scams, the FCC should “throw the book at the scam artists behind them,” she said in her statement. “We should fine them to the hills. We can’t be shy about taking strong action to stop this nuisance.”
Before the $13 million fine can be finalized, the perpetrator will be given a chance to respond and then the FCC’s commissioners will determine a final fine amount to resolve the matter.