The FCC takes action to shut down MV Realty’s alleged robocall scam

Seattle — The FCC announced Tuesday that their Robocall Response Team is taking actions to shut down MV Realty’s alleged robocall scam.

The FCC ordered phone companies to mitigate illegal calls from the platform PhoneBurner, which MV Realty uses for their robocalls. They also demanded the service provider Twilio to stop carrying the illegal calls from PhoneBurner. Twilio is the largest voice service provider to receive a cease-and-desist letter from the FCC, according to the FCC.

MV Reality used misleading robocalls to “scam” and “swindle” residents into mortgaging their homes in exchange for cash, according to lawsuits from the Attorney Generals of Florida, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

KIRO 7′s Jesse Jones covered how Vietnam veteran James Heath was affected by the company in November. Jones also covered the initial lawsuits against MV Realty in December.

“Mortgage scams are some of the most pernicious types of robocalls we see,” FCC Chairwomen Jessica Rosenworcel said. “Sending these junk calls to financially-stressed homeowners just to offer them deceptive products and services is unconscionable. That’s why we are shutting down these calls right now.”

The FCC received around 1,500 complaints, in 2022, about unwanted calls from robocalls, telemarketing, and spoofers, they said. Callers prey on people’s fear and anxiety, using real news or public policy to gain trust and seem legitimate.

The FCC advises people who receive suspicious calls to:

1. Not answer from an unknown number.

2. Be aware that calls can appear to be from a local number even if they are a scam.

3. Do not provide personal or financial information to unknown callers.

4. Know that legitimate callers will not normally use pressure tactics or demand a payment.

5. Only contact your bank using the contact info from their website, or bill.

6. Talk to friends and family who may be targets about how to protect themselves.

7. File a complaint with the FCC at www.fcc.gov/complaints.

8. Contact law enforcement if you have been involved in a scam.

The FCC Enforcement Bureau has been targeting robocall scammers with their new actions since 2022, according the FCC. They have stopped a common auto warranty and student loan debt relief robocall scam, which resulted in a 99 percent drop in those types of scam calls, according to RoboKiller. The bureau also proposed a nearly $300 million fine against the auto warranty scammers.

The FCC has also sent cease-and-desist letters to phone companies regarding robocallers and will continue to monitor their efforts, they said.

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