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Robocaller hit with $10 million fine by FCC

The caller spoofed local caller IDs to leave racist and threatening messages, says the Federal Communications Commission.

A robocaller has been fined $10 million.
Angela Lang/CNET

A robocaller has been fined $9.9 million for using caller ID spoofing to intentionally cause harm, the US Federal Communications Commission said on Thursday. The scam caller made thousands of robocalls using prerecorded racist, xenophobic and threatening messages, the FCC said. 

The calls were made to a victim's family, a local journalist, political candidates -- and even as an apparent attempt to sway a jury that was hearing a domestic terrorism case, said the agency. The caller ID spoofing made the calls look like they came from local numbers.

"Not only were the calls unlawful, but the caller took them to new levels of egregiousness," said FCC Chair Ajit Pai. "With today's fine, we once again make clear our commitment to aggressively go after those who are unlawfully bombarding the American people." 

The robocaller harassed people across Iowa, Idaho, Virginia, Florida and Georgia, the FCC said. He must pay the fine within 30 days, otherwise the matter will be scaled up to the Justice Department, the agency said.