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APRIL 18, 2018 
Good morning Chairman Thune, Ranking Member Nelson, and Members of the 
Committee.  My name is Rosemary Harold, and I am Chief of the Enforcement Bureau of the 
Federal Communications Commission.  I am happy to speak with you and answer questions 
about the Commission’s enforcement actions and authority to combat illegal robocalls and 
spoofed calls.   
Unwanted, unlawful calls are not merely a serious aggravation; many robocall and 
spoofing schemes are designed to trick people out of significant amounts of money.  These 
schemes often are most effective in harming vulnerable populations, such as senior citizens.  
Unwanted robocalls are the Commission’s number one source of consumer complaints.  The 
recent Omnibus legislation will provide significant assistance in our enforcement efforts.  It 
allows us to take action against spoofed calls that originate outside the United States, and against 
spoofed text messages.  Chairman Thune and Ranking Member Nelson, we are especially 
grateful for your leadership in this area. 
FCC Regulatory Authority.  The FCC uses several statutory provisions to take action 
against unlawful calls.  The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, or TCPA, and 
accompanying Commission rules generally prohibit autodialed calls or prerecorded or artificial 
voice messages to emergency telephone lines, hospitals, and cell phones.  The law also prohibits 
unsolicited, prerecorded advertising messages to residential telephone lines, except under limited 
circumstances.  The Commission’s Do-Not-Call rules require telemarketers to honor consumers’ 
desires not to receive telemarketing calls.    
The Truth in Caller ID Act prohibits callers from falsifying or “spoofing” caller ID 
information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value.  
Consumers depend on caller ID information to help them decide whether to answer a phone call 
and whether to trust the caller on the other end of the line.  Unlawful spoofing can deceive 
recipients about the true identity of the caller and impede the ability of carriers and law 
enforcement to pinpoint the source of abusive calls.  Most large-scale unlawful robocall schemes 
employ caller ID spoofing.  In particular, many schemes utilize neighbor spoofing where the 
spoofed caller ID matches the area code and first three numbers of the phone number being 
FCC’s Enforcement Work.  The Commission has extensive ongoing enforcement 
efforts, although much of the work is conducted behind the scenes, long before a formal, public 
action.  Last year, for example, the Commission issued notices of apparent liability (NALs) and 
citations against two massive robocallers and spoofers, Adrian Abramovich and Philip Roesel.  
The evidence in those investigations showed that these two individuals, along with their 
affiliated companies, made more than 96 million and 21 million apparently illegal, spoofed 
robocalls, respectively.  And the Commission has proposed forfeitures of $120 million and $82.1 
million, respectively, in these cases.  Because the details of these ongoing investigations are not 
public, I cannot provide further information about these cases at this time. 
FCC/FTC Coordination:  The FCC works with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 
throughout ongoing investigations and other actions.  The agencies cooperate, share information, 
and render assistance pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding.  The FCC and FTC roles are 
largely complementary, and not duplicative.  For example, the FCC has exclusive jurisdiction to 
enforce the Truth In Caller ID Act’s provisions against spoofing.  On March 23, we co-hosted 
with the FTC a Joint Policy Forum to learn what is being done to help consumers and the 
challenges that remain.  On April 23, we are co-hosting with the FTC the “Stop Illegal Robocalls 
Expo,” where 17 tech companies will showcase their innovative technologies, devices, and 
applications for consumers to combat illegal robocalls.  In addition to FTC coordination, the 
Enforcement Bureau regularly coordinates with the CFPB, Department of the Treasury, 
Department of Justice, and Department of Homeland Security.   
Industry Cooperation:  We have also established relationships with industry to assist in 
enforcement.  Telephone carriers have access to information and technical expertise that can help 
with early detection of potentially unlawful calls and pinpoint the source of the calls.  Frankly, 
some of our most successful efforts are the ones you may never hear about: when we work with 
industry to identify and shut down unlawful robocall schemes early on.  Major telephone carriers 
and their industry associations have banded together to share critical information about 
fraudulent call activity.  We also appreciate the critical effort of consumer protection groups to 
inform and educate consumers.   
Rulemakings.  Stopping illegal robocalls before they even reach consumers can put a big 
dent in the problem, and under Chairman Pai’s leadership, the Commission is looking at different 
ways to make that happen.   
Last November, the Commission decided that voice service providers may block calls 
where spoofed Caller ID displays invalid or unassigned numbers, or numbers that we know don’t 
originate calls, as in the recent IRS scam.  Such calls are almost certainly illegal and can be 
The Commission is also asking about other ways to identify and block illegal calls, 
without blocking lawful calls.  For example, can call analytics reliably identify calling patterns 
that result from illegal calls—such as large bursts of calls over a short time from numbers that 
don’t usually make calls that way?   
The Commission is also working closely with industry to speed the adoption of call 
authentication—a means by which telephone calls can be securely “signed” by their senders, so 
that we know that the Caller ID isn’t being spoofed.  The Commission has worked to bring the 
relevant experts and stakeholders together, through the Robocall Strike Force; a Notice of 
Inquiry; and most recently through a North American Numbering Council working group.   
We’ve also moved to help responsible, lawful callers avoid calling phone numbers that 
have been reassigned to a new consumer.  Just last month, the Commission proposed a 
reassigned numbers database that callers could check to avoid calling the wrong consumer. 
ACA International Decision.  The DC Circuit recently issued a decision regarding the 
Commission’s 2015 TCPA Omnibus Order.  The Commission is reviewing that decision and 
determining what responsive actions might be appropriate.  We are confident, however, that the 
court decision does not affect the enforcement actions against Adrian Abramovich or Philip 
Roesel or other investigations we are pursuing because those actions were based on legal 
authority outside the scope of the recent D.C. Circuit decision.   
Thank you again for the opportunity to speak with you this morning.  I welcome any 
questions you may have.