The Federal Communications Commission said it identified a large source of robocalls and has cracked down on the company.
The FCC said on Tuesday that its Robocall Response Team identified One Owl Telecom as a gateway company that has let international robocalls flood in. The commission sent a notice to telephone providers advising them to block traffic from One Owl Telecom, whose connections serve as an on-ramp to US-based networks, pending compliance with an enforcement notice sent earlier today.
In the notice, the FCC said it found “substantial amounts” of illegal robocalls spawning from One Owl. The company conducted an undisclosed number of calls claiming to be from “AMC Trading LLC” and other fake companies. Calls would ask for delivery confirmation of a nonexistent order or to confirm a “pre-authorized order… placed in your name.”
Robocalls remain a problem that virtually everyone — from the carriers to the FCC to consumers — agrees needs to be solved. Yet robocalls topped 50.3 billion last year, according to YouMail. That’s roughly equal to 2021, despite increased efforts to squash them.
Globally, these scam calls are estimated to cost subscribers $58 billion a year. The FCC found the company was previously run under the names Illum Telecommunications and One Eye. Scam calls spawning from One Owl used masking techniques to hide their identities. This makes it difficult to find the sources.
The FCC is shifting focus to the lines robocallers use to harass people.
“Our investigators and industry partners in the Traceback Consortium are not fooled by these tactics,” Enforcement Bureau Chief Loyaan Egal said in an email sent to Cord Cutters News. “We will remain vigilant in protecting consumers in the US from being bombarded with scam communications originating from overseas.”
The FCC previously issued a mandate blocking all traffic from One Eye. The problem is this company has changed names repeatedly to avoid shutting down.
One Owl has 48 hours to shut down illegal robocalls. The FCC also requested the company provide a plan to stop scam calls within 14 days.
“We are determined to use every tool we have to get these sorts of scams off our networks—including cutting them off at the source,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement. “These scam artists can try to duck and hide, but we’ll keep coming for them until we get this junk off the line.”
The Robocall Response Team works across agencies to block robocall scams. Forty-four states have signed partnerships with the team.
So far, there’s been a 99% decrease in auto warranty scams. Student loan scams are down by 88% month-to-month and the team stopped “predatory” mortgage robocalls in the US.
The agency has also led the charge to ensure all wireless carriers use a robocall protection standard called STIR/SHAKEN, which helps identify the numbers behind scam calls.