Legal Articles

FCC Concludes Anti-Robocall "Spring Cleaning" Initiative

The FCC's "Spring Cleaning" initiative against robocalls underscores the Commission's commitment to ending illegal robocall campaigns.

As discussed in previous articles, on April 4, 2024, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) launched a “spring cleaning” initiative that was to consist of a series of robocall enforcement actions in coordination with other federal agencies.

The initiative, which began with the issuance of a cease-and-desist letter to VoIP service provider Veriwave Telco, officially ended on May 20th with the issuance of another cease-and-desist letter by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, this time to a company called Alliant Financial.

In the letter, the FCC ordered Alliant Financial (“Alliant”) to cease originating calls for an illegal robocall campaign. The recorded messages sent by Alliant touted predatory debt consolidation loans ostensibly being offered by One Street Financial, Main Street Financial, and Alliant Financial, names suspiciously similar to legitimate companies MainStreet Financial Services and Alliant Financial Solutions, which apparently had nothing to do with the calls.

The campaign ran between November 1, 2023, and February 29, 2024, during which period an estimated 78 million illegal robocalls were sent to consumers, many of whom were contacted on multiple occasions. The USTelecom Industry Traceback Group (ITG) conducted tracebacks on 13 of those calls, which eventually identified Alliant as the originating voice service provider.

As is the case with all such letters, the cease-and-desist required Alliant to mitigate the illegal traffic originating on its network and implement effective measures to prevent other customers from originating illegal calls and report to the FCC within 14 days. Failure to do so will result in the mandatory blocking of Alliant’s traffic by downstream telecom service providers, which would effectively end the company’s tenure as a licensed VoIP service provider.

This final action in connection with the “Spring Cleaning” initiative was undertaken in tandem with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other agencies, which also sent multiple cease-and-desist letters to companies identified as responsible for illegal robocalling activities. In a comment, FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Loyaan A. Egal stated “Our ‘Spring Cleaning’ initiative has demonstrated the benefits of increased collaboration in reducing the harmful effects of such unlawful calling campaigns.”

While spring may be fast transforming into summer, the end of the season does not mean the FCC will now turn its attention from illegal robocall campaigns. The Commission has clearly demonstrated its intent to put an end to the practice, once and for all.