By Nathalie Voit

In an order adopted July 21, the Enforcement Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ordered all U.S. voice service providers to cut off robocall traffic related to a well-known and illegal auto warranty operation.

The pre-recorded marketing messages come from a massive robocall scheme led by Roy Cox, Jr., Aaron Michael Jones, their Sumco Panama companies, and international associates, according to a press release from the agency.

The order follows a Public Notice issued earlier this month, which authorized all providers to cease carrying out robocall activity related to the “Cox/Jones/Sumco Panama operation.” Thursday’s order instructs all U.S.-based carriers to block this suspicious traffic.

“Now that U.S. voice service providers know the individuals and entities associated with this scheme, the Enforcement Bureau will closely monitor voice service providers’ compliance with this order and take appropriate enforcement action as necessary,” Acting FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Loyaan A. Egal said in a statement.

The FCC’s Robocall Response Team said the automated calls are part of a broader “scam campaign” that has been active since 2018. The Commission said the Cox/Jones/Sumco Panama enterprise has made over eight billion unlawful calls to American consumers.

The messages prompt victims to speak with a “warranty specialist” about their car insurance, which they falsely claim is about to expire. The FCC said fraudsters typically use consumers’ legitimate personal or financial information to trick them into making bogus payments.

“We are not going to tolerate robocall scammers or those that help make their scams possible. Consumers are out of patience, and I’m right there with them,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in last week’s statement.

The auto warranty robocall campaign is also the subject of a lawsuit by the Ohio Attorney General.

More than any other unwanted call category, auto warranty renewal calls reported the highest number of consumer complaints to the agency in 2020 and 2021.