FCC fines man $120M for robocall spree that interfered with hospital communications network

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a record $120 million fine against a Miami man who the FCC says violated telecommunications laws by making more than 96 million falsified robocalls.

The FCC claims Adrian Ambramovich, through his companies, used a tactic known as "neighbor spoofing," which tricks people into answering phone calls by falsifying caller ID information to make it appear calls are from local numbers, according to the report.

The FCC said Spōk, a healthcare communications solutions provider that serves hospitals, emergency rooms and physicians, complained to the commission in 2016 about robocalls that were disrupting its network. The FCC used the information provided by Spōk to trace the calls back to Mr. Ambramovich.

Neighbor spoofing is only illegal if used to defraud or cause harm to others, which is what the FCC contends Mr. Ambramovich did.

Mr. Ambramovich is accused of using the spoofing technique to offer consumers vacation deals from well-known companies such as Marriott International and Expedia. The consumers were ultimately connected to foreign call centers where salespeople pushed travel deals that were not affiliated with the well-known brands mentioned on the pre-recorded message at the start of the call.

Mr. Ambramovich has 30 days to respond to the FCC's proposal. Any fine will be issued after the commission considers his response.

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