FCC won't warn robocallers before fining them

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
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Now that the FCC is no longer required to warn robocallers, it’s taking advantage of that expanded power. The regulator has issued an order ending warnings before it slaps spam callers with penalties. The new measure also extends the statute of limitations for robocall and spoofing from a respective one to two years to a consistent four for both. The maximum fines have also increased, the FCC said.

Before the TRACED Act, the FCC could only act immediately for spoofing instances, and could only issue fines for any robocalling violations after a warning had been issued.

This is just the latest move in the FCC’s ongoing campaign against robocallers, but it might be one of the more effective ones. In theory, the previous requirement for warnings let spammers get away with their practices knowing they could stop the moment there was a warning — they now risk a huge financial penalty the moment they’re caught. This probably won’t deter some robocallers, especially those overseas, but it might be enough if it makes at least some of these outfits think twice.