The FCC, with much fanfare, announced they are proposing to fine an illegal robocalling operation $225 million for making illegal robocalls in 2019. Their announcement highlights that John C. Spiller and Jakob A. Mears (of Rising Eagle and JSquared Telecom) made over 1 billion spoofed robocalls, generally on behalf of clients that sell short-term, limited-duration health insurance plans. That’s right, billion with a “b”.
Yup, these are the two guys driving America crazy trying to sell us health insurance. If you got calls and messages like these, then it came from them!
So, has this hefty fine caused our robocalling friends to stop making calls? Are these guys quivering in their boots thinking about how many hours at some minimum wage job will be required to pay that fine?
Well, those of us at YouMail decided to find out.
The FCC made their announcement on June 9th. If the proposed fine mattered, we’d expect to see their bad behavior stop quickly after that date. And, on the other hand, if their calling behavior didn’t change, then we’d know what message they’re sending the FCC by continuing to make calls.
To find out, we decided to take a look at YouMail’s estimated volumes for the top robocall campaigns that are coming from Spiller and Mears. We created a simple chart, tracking their daily estimated call volume, starting with the 1st of June.
Prior to June 9th, the calls bounced around between 4 million and 6 million robocalls/day. That’s an insane amount of calls coming from what looks like just a couple of people, but let’s ignore that for now.
The real question is this: Do you see anything special happening on or around June 9th? Like a big drop in robocalls? Nope. Neither do we. In fact, the volumes of their campaigns stayed even higher than the week before, with between 5 million and 6 million calls/day during the weekdays. (Yes, the campaigns do almost entirely disappear on the weekends. Apparently, even robocallers need some rest and recreation.)
A $225 million fine doesn’t even slow these guys down. And they’re clearly sending a message to the FCC about what the FCC can do with those fines. And to all of us about what they think about our time and our privacy.
Of course, the FCC’s proposed fine will work its way through a legal process and ultimately may lead to these gentleman having to find a new line of work.
This whole situation, however, shows one reason why the robocall problem is so hard to solve. When you read through the lengthy Notice of Apparent Liability For Forfeiture the FCC had to put together, you can see just how much time and effort the enforcement folks at the FCC had to go through to get to this point. It’s incredibly difficult to document all the violations of law that happened and the harm to victims, and to justify the resulting proposed fine.
And it appears it just doesn’t matter to these robocallers, and they keep making astoundingly large volumes of calls.
That means people have to protect themselves. It’s why people need solutions like YouMail to automatically block these annoying spammers. Our services know about all of these illegal robocalling campaigns. We use sophisticated, proprietary, patented technology to know exactly how they work, what phone numbers they use, how many calls they make, when they change how their campaigns behave, what sort of calling patterns they use, and more. This is what enables our award-winning service to protect our users, even when the carriers and the enforcement agencies can’t. Try us out – it’s a totally free service – and enjoy a much more robocall free life, even if the robocallers don’t want you to.