(WHNT) – The Federal Communications Commission has taken several actions against an international operation that could be responsible for billions of extended warranty calls that could be illegal.

The FCC said the agency and partners believe more than eight billion robocalls have been generated through an operation run by Roy Cox, Jr., Aaron Michael Jones, their Sumco Panama companies, and international associates.

The agency announced earlier in July that all U.S. phone providers were issued a notice allowing them to voluntarily block phone traffic from eight specific companies in connection with this operation. Those eight companies include:

  • Call Pipe
  • Fugle Telecom
  • Geist Telecom
  • Global Lynks
  • Mobi Telecom
  • SipKonnect
  • South Dakota Telecom
  • Virtual Telecom

The notice to U.S. phone providers specifically names associates in California – where Cox and Jones live – and Texas, as well as Hungary and Panama, that are involved in the operation. In addition, the eight previously mentioned companies were issued cease-and-desist letters, warning them to stop carrying the traffic or the FCC will force all U.S. providers to block phone traffic from them.

Ongoing since 2018, these robocalls may come in the form of:

“We’ve been trying to reach you concerning your car’s extended warranty. You should have received something in the mail about your car’s extended warranty. Since we have not gotten a response, we are giving you a final courtesy call before we close out your file. Press 2 to be removed and put on our Do-NotCall list. Press 1 to speak with someone about extending or reinstating your car’s warranty. Again, press 1 to speak with a warranty specialist. (Pause) Or call our 800 number at 833-304-1447.”

Potentially illegal extended warranty scam call under investigation by the FCC

The FCC has been conducting tracebacks and said the operation is still making millions of apparently illegal calls on a daily basis.

The FCC Enforcement Bureau has opened an investigation into the operation and is investigating these calls for possible legal violations. The FCC said the agency could take enforcement action against the parties involved, including potential financial penalties. This investigation is also being undertaken in conjunction with Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who announced a lawsuit against the operation.

The FCC has tips for staying safe from “auto warranty” scams:

  • Don’t Share – Don’t provide personal information to anyone that calls you unexpectedly
  • Be Aware – Scammers are good at what they do and may use real information to gain your trust and claim they work for a company you trust
  • Don’t Trust Caller ID – They may spoof a number, falsifying what shows up on your display and making it seem like they’re calling from a local number
  • Hang Up and Call The Company – If you think the call may be legitimate, hang up and call the company you have a relationship with, using a phone number from its website or previous bill

If you receive a scam call, be sure to file a complaint with the FCC online.