FCC Proposes Record $120M Fine For Fraudulent Travel Robocaller

by Cheryl Rosen
FCC Proposes Record $120M Fine For Fraudulent Travel Robocaller

Florida man may pay big for making 100 million calls selling travel using spoofed ID.


The FCC has proposed a $120 million fine – the largest ever against an individual – against a Miami resident charged with making almost 97 million travel-related robocalls in 2016.

Using a tactic known as "neighbor spoofing” that made his calls appear to be from the local area code, he disturbed people’s dinners (I think he called me a few million times!) offering deals from companies including TripAdvisor, Expedia, Marriott and Hilton Worldwide.

The FCC yesterday proposed the fine against Adrian Abramovich of Miami for violating the Truth in Caller ID Act, “which prohibits callers from deliberately falsifying caller ID information to disguise their identity with the intent to harm or defraud consumers.”

“Consumers reported receiving calls that appeared to come from local numbers but, if they answered, they heard an automated message prompting them to ‘Press 1’ to hear about ‘exclusive’ vacation deals from well-known travel and hospitality companies such as Marriott, Expedia, Hilton and TripAdvisor,” the FCC said in a statement. “Consumers who did press the button were then transferred to foreign call centers where live operators attempted to sell vacation packages, often involving timeshares. The call centers were not affiliated with the well-known travel and hospitality companies mentioned in the recorded message.”

The FCC said it was responding to complaints from consumers as well as from TripAdvisor, which had received complaints from robocallees.

The Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 prohibits “spoofing with the intent to cause harm, defraud, or wrongfully obtain anything of value,” the FCC noted. “Consumers rely on caller ID information to make decisions about what calls to accept, ignore, or block. Accurate caller ID information is a vital tool that consumers use to protect their privacy, avoid fraud, and ensure peace of mind.” 

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau also issued Abramovich a citation for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s robocall limits and the federal wire fraud statute. 

  4
  0
Tip of the Day
Daily Top List

5 Offline Places to Find Luxury Travelers

1. Local schools.

2. Professional services.

3. Local luxury retailers.

4. Arts community.

5. Luxury establishments.

Source: TMR

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Here Are the Top Reasons Travel Insurance Claims Are Delayed or Denied
Here Are the Top Reasons Travel Insurance Claims Are Delayed or Denied

Travel agents relentlessly recommend their clients purchase trip insurance, but a traveler’s missteps could delay or deny their claim.

What Individual Fare Pricing Means to Travel Agents
What Individual Fare Pricing Means to Travel Agents

Travel sellers cannot afford to remain unaware of this seemingly inevitable and revolutionary development in the way that air travel is sold.

New York Times Promotes Perks Travel Agents Offer
New York Times Promotes Perks Travel Agents Offer

In a story that will appear on Sunday, the Times highlights the benefits for travelers of working with a travel agent.

Selling to the Affluent and Determining Where Their Value Lies
Selling to the Affluent and Determining Where Their Value Lies

At The Affluent Traveler Collection Symposium, industry veteran Larry Pimentel shared insights and tips on selling luxury travel, including the importance of defining exactly what luxury travel is in today's market.

Headquarter Happenings: American Marketing Group Marks Its 48th Year with New Technology, Partnerships, and More
Headquarter Happenings: American Marketing Group Marks Its 48th Year with New Technology, Partnerships, and More

Travel agents belonging to TRAVELSAVERS, NEST and The Affluent Traveler Collection groups met with preferred suppliers, AMG staff and peers to find "The Way Forward."

Headquarter Happenings: The Affluent Traveler Collection 'Accelerates' Its Agents Through New Training, Partnerships and Technology
Headquarter Happenings: The Affluent Traveler Collection 'Accelerates' Its Agents Through New Training, Partnerships and Technology

Luxury marketing organization ramps up its resources to help member agents meet the needs and desires of today’s affluent clientele.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Norwegian Cruise Line