FCC issues first-of-its-kind C-CIST classification to Royal Tiger

The Federal Communications Commission has branded robocall threat actor ‘Royal Tiger’ the first-ever Consumer Communication Information Services Threat (C-CIST) in an attempt to tackle illegal robocall schemes.

Royal Tiger has “persisted in transmitting illegal robocall traffic aimed at defrauding consumers, resulting in numerous enforcement actions by the Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, and our law enforcement partners,” the FCC said.

The organization is said to have impersonated government agencies, banks, and utility companies, while other calls informed individuals of fraudulent credit card interest rate reduction offers and purchase authorization for orders supposedly placed by victims.

Members of the Royal Tiger organization supposedly operate in India, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. The organization is allegedly led by Prince Jashvantlal Anand and his associate Kaushal Bhavsar.

Multiple entities linked to illegal calls to US consumers are associated with both Anand and Bhavsar. These include Illum Telecommunication and PZ Telecommunication, among others.

The classification comes at a time when the FCC and other agencies are attempting to tackle fraudulent robocall schemes and has been implemented to raise awareness of threat actors and their behavior among law enforcement partners and industry stakeholders.

The C-CIST classification is issued when “the party’s misconduct – in either nature or scope – poses a significant threat to consumers’ trust in, and ability to use, communications information services.”

“As our investigative targets use more and more sophisticated and clandestine means such as generative AI voice-cloning technology and ‘spoofing’ to obtain sensitive data and defraud consumers, the C-CIST classification tool will allow us to better coordinate with our state, federal, and global regulatory and law enforcement partners to take on these bad actors,” Loyaan A. Egal, Chief of the Enforcement Bureau and Chair of the Privacy and Data Protection Task Force, said.

“The C-CIST designation of Royal Tiger, and similar future designations, will assist industry stakeholders in better protecting their customers and their privacy.”

The FCC said that classifying an individual or organization as C-CIST allows agencies to detect and block bad actors from further perpetuating these types of unlawful schemes.