Federal officials want to impose millions of dollars in penalties against a Wilmington man who they say made millions of illegally spoofed robocalls.
The Federal Communications Commission has proposed an $82.1 million fine against Best Insurance Contracts owner Philip Roesel. It appears Roesel made more than 21 million spoofed robocalls across the nation while operating as Wilmington Insurance Quotes, the FCC announced Thursday in a news release.
“Spoofing,” deliberately altering caller ID information with intentions of harming or defrauding consumers, is prohibited under the 2009 Truth in Caller ID Act. But not everyone has obeyed the law, and some have even targeted the scams at governing bodies.
Roesel is accused of using the robocalls in an attempt to sell health insurance to vulnerable consumers, including the elderly, the sick and low-income families, the FCC said. A medical paging provider reported network disruptions caused by the calls, which at that point were linked to Roesel, the agency said.
“The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau subpoenaed Mr. Roesel’s call records from October 2016 through January 2017,” the agency reported. “Based on these records, FCC investigators verified 82,106 health insurance telemarketing calls made during that time used falsified caller ID information. These calls are the basis for today’s proposed fine.”
The FCC claims to be looking into technology that would enable people to verify whether a phone call is authentic.