FCC Enforcement Bureau Classifies Royal Tiger as First Repeat Robocall Bad Actor Under New Classification System

By Jason Lee

Yesterday, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau unveiled a new classification system called the Consumer Communications Information Services Threat (C-CIST). The system will be used to label repeat offenders violating laws against illegal robocalling. On the same day, the FCC applied the C-CIST label for the first time to an international entity, Royal Tiger, which is allegedly trafficking in unlawful robocalls to U.S. consumers by impersonating government agencies, banks, and utility companies according to the FCC’s press release. In addition, the entity also offered fake credit card interest rate reductions and requested purchase authorizations for orders that have not been authorized by its victims through its calls, the FCC said. 

The bad actor, Royal Tiger operates in the United Kingdom, India, the United States, and the United Arab Emirates. The group is led by Prince Jashvantlal Anand and his associate Kaushal Bhavsar, and it has three companies in the U.S. that are used for its malicious operations. Multiple enforcement actions have been taken in the past against the group by the FCC, the Federal Trade Commission, and multiple state attorneys general but it is still committing unlawful robocalls. 

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau explained the purpose of the new classification system: 

“To shine a light on the tactics, techniques, and procedures of a C-CIST’s illegal operation. This will allow state, federal, and international regulatory counterparts and law enforcement entities to quickly detect and pursue appropriate action against these threat actors. The classification will also arm industry stakeholders with information that will enhance their “Know Your Customer (KYC)” and “Know Your Upstream Provider (KYUP)” processes. Industry stakeholders are the first line of defense in keeping illegal and harmful traffic off U.S. communications networks.” 

To be classified as a C-CIST, the FCC’s EB stated:  

“A party as a C-CIST whose misconduct—in either nature or scope— poses a significant threat to consumer communication information services. We reserve this label for especially troubling actors who have been involved in defrauding or harming consumers and businesses in a way that we see as presenting an ongoing risk worthy of special attention.” 

The FCC’s EB hopes that applying this new classification system will“ensure that these threat actors are readily detected and blocked from perpetuating potentially unlawful schemes that compromise our communications information services and harm consumers.”