Angry Man On Phone Stock
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The United States Federal Communications Commission has levied the largest-ever fine in its history on "an international network of companies" found to be behind the most irritating scam call operation in recent memory. If you're an American with a phone, in 2021 you likely received several phone calls that launched into a recording that started with "We've been trying to reach you about your car's extended warranty…" If you didn't get those calls, then you probably saw the memes.

The scam's been going on for several years, since at least 2018, but the FCC's investigation found that in just one three-month period of 2021 the scammers placed more than five billion robocalls. The operation was headed by Roy M. Cox and Aaron Michael Jones, who had already received lifetime bans against running telemarketing operations from the Federal Trade Commission, and did business under eight different company names. They did so in violation of federal spoofing laws, which made it difficult to track down where the calls were coming from, and even called numbers that were on the National Do Not Call Registry (aside: all Americans should sign up for the Do Not Call list — it actually works).

But eventually the calls stopped, and for that you can thank the FCC's investigation. In 2022 they tracked down the sources of the calls and ordered to all US-based telephone service providers to block calls from them. And just like that, extended warranty scam calls dropped by 99%.

Cox, Jones, and their companies were fined $300 million for their scams, and while it's unlikely that they will ever be able to pay all of that, we can at least rest assured that the FCC and state Attorneys General across the United States are working to stop this sort of madness from ringing our phones off the hook.

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