FCC Prepares to Block Illegal Tax Robocalls

FCC Prepares to Block Voice Provider Facilitating Illegal Tax Robocalls

Veriwave Will Have Final Chance to Comply with Commission Rules or Find Its Voice Traffic Cut Off

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau announced that it has accelerated its illegal robocall blocking efforts against Veriwave Telco, which has not complied with FCC call blocking rules for providers suspected of carrying illegal traffic.  This action moves the company one step closer to facing mandatory blocking.  The Bureau issued an Initial Determination Order against Veriwave, ordering the company to respond to the order and warning the company about potential consequences of its failure to do so. 

In April, the IRS and FTC joined the FCC as part of its “Spring Cleaning” initiative to take action to protect consumers from an illegal tax-related robocalling campaign advertising a fictitious “National Tax Relief Program.”  Some of the prerecorded messages transmitted by the campaign offered to rapidly clear the call recipient’s tax debt.  Consumers receiving the call also reported that, in some instances, they were asked to provide personal information, including dates of birth and social security numbers.  YouMail, a software app company, estimates that approximately 15.8 million calls of this nature were transmitted in the three months immediately preceding the start of the 2024 tax filing season.  The Industry Traceback Group and the FCC traced a number of these calls to Veriwave as the originating provider.  The FCC promptly issued a cease-and-desist letter to Veriwave, ordering the provider to stop origination of and conduct an investigation into the apparently illegal robocalls.

FCC Leadership:

Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel:  “Providers must do their part to prevent these junk calls from getting to consumers.  If they don’t, then they will face significant consequences.  The FCC is committed to protecting consumers from scam robocalls.”

What’s New:

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued an initial determination order against Veriwave, moving the company one step closer to facing mandatory blocking from other providers.  If Veriwave fails to respond and begin combatting—rather than supporting—illegal robocalls, the FCC will order all immediate downstream providers to block all traffic from Veriwave.

How We Got Here:

The Enforcement Bureau recently issued a cease-and-desist letter against Veriwave, ordering the company to stop originating an apparently illegal robocall campaign pertaining to a “National Tax Relief Program.”  The Bureau also warned the company that failure to comply with the requirements outlined in the letter may result in mandatory blocking by downstream providers of all traffic from Veriwave.  In addition, the Bureau issued a “K4 Public Notice,” notifying all U.S.-based voice service providers that they may be permitted to cease accepting traffic from Veriwave.


The FCC has solidified its robocall defenses when it comes to gateway and originating providers, including adopting rules that increase the obligations of these providers to police their own networks and impose consequences on providers that fail to do so.  This built upon the Commission’s call blocking rules by requiring providers to block illegal traffic when notified of such traffic by the Commission. 

The Bigger Picture:

The FCC’s Robocall Response Team serves as an FCC staff working group to combat the unyielding menace of illegal spoofed, or scam, robocalls.  
  • Issuing the first-ever Consumer Communications Information Services Threat (C-CIST) classification to formally name threat actors that use U.S. communications networks to perpetuate the most harmful, illegal schemes against consumers;
  • Blocking active robocall scam campaigns by issuing first-of-their-kind actions;
  • 99% drop in auto warranty scam robocalls after an FCC action;
  • 88% month-to-month drop in student loan scam robocalls in 2022;
  • Halted predatory mortgage robocalls targeting homeowners nationwide;
  • Fining companies record-breaking amounts for illegal robocalls and spoofing;
  • Closing gateways used by international robocallers to reach Americans’ phones;
  • Widespread implementation of STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication standards – including applying the requirements to gateway providers;
  • Working with industry to traceback illegal calls to their sources;
  • Ensuring voice service providers meet FCC robocall mitigation requirements; 
  • Signing robocall investigation partnerships with 49 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and international partners; 
  • Establishing first-of-their-kind regulations targeting scam text messaging; and
  • Launching the Robocall Mitigation Database to monitor STIR/SHAKEN compliance.
Source: FCC media announcement

Latest Updates

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel