[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) released the following statement today after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) levied a $120 million fine against Adrian Abramovich, who bombarded consumers with 96 million spoofed robocalls in an attempt to sell vacation packages. After Abramovich refused to answer select questions in a hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee last month, Blumenthal recommended he be held in contempt of Congress.
“This significant fine is well-deserved. Households across the country are harangued daily by millions of robocalls. At best robocalls are a nuisance, and at worst, they threaten unsuspecting consumers with financial scams, as was the case with Adrian Abramovich,” Blumenthal said. “Now Congress must strike back against scammers by taking up and passing the ROBOCOP Act, which would require phone companies to provide effective technology that blocks unwanted calls at no cost to the consumer.”
During last month’s hearing, Blumenthal underscored how harmful robocalls can be to vulnerable consumers like one Connecticut mother, who received an average of 7-10 robocalls a day that she was forced to answer because her son was deployed abroad in the military.
“She had to change her number, her phone rang so often. The effect of these calls was pernicious and intrusive,” said Blumenthal during the hearing. “It strikes me, Mr. Abramovich, that without prejudging the result in your case, that a high percentage of the calls were not only intrusive, but potentially scams. That’s why the FCC has levied a fine that is virtually unprecedented in its history, and that’s why you’re here today.”
Blumenthal’s full exchange with Abramovich is available for download here.