The US communications regulator and the US consumer protection agency have issued a joint statement warning three international gateway providers that all of their traffic will be blocked unless they stop connecting coronavirus spam robocalls which originate overseas. The three telcos named are:
- SIPJoin of Suffolk, Virginia
- Connexum of Orange, California
- VoIP Terminator/BLMarketing of Lake Mary, Florida
Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), slammed the three gateway telcos for their irresponsible behavior.
During this national emergency, it is unconscionable that these companies are abusing their access to our nation’s telephone network by serving as conduits for scam robocallers who are subjecting Americans to coronavirus-related fraud. This must end and must end now. And to any other service provider that’s carrying or is thinking of carrying such traffic, be warned: If you do so, you too will find yourselves excluded from our phone system.
The three gateway providers were warned that every other US telco would be given the right to block all their calls unless the spam had stopped by the end of yesterday. Each of the three gateway providers was identified as a source of spam by the Traceback Group of trade association USTelecom. It is likely this group will soon be tasked to trace the origin of any spam calls in the USA under new powers in the TRACED Act.
Two kinds of robocall scams were described in letters sent by the FCC and FTC to the miscreant gateway providers. One of these involves calls that originate in the Philippines and which offer a fictitious “free test kit” for COVID-19. The other originates in Pakistan and offers cleaning services that the robocallers falsely claim will help fight the spread of coronavirus.
You can read the joint FCC and FTC announcement here.