The Federal Communications Commission says that it is working to shut down network access for robocalls coming from a Florida realty group that is being sued by three state attorneys general for deceptive business practices.
The U.S. regulatory agency has asked voice service provider Twilio to stop carrying the calls from MV Realty, via the dialing platform PhoneBurner. The FCC noted that Twilio is the largest voice provider to date to be sent a cease-and-desist letter; robocall scammers often target small providers to carry and originate their calls in an effort to avoid anti-robocall measures.
The FCC said that the Traceback Consortium industry group investigated prerecorded calls made during May and December of 2022 that had been flagged by robocall tracking software company YouMail as going to wireless numbers without the consent of the targeted consumers. Twilio told the FCC that PhoneBurner had obtained consumers’ consent, but neither Twilio nor PhoneBurner provided evidence of that consent to the agency.
Those calls went to homeowners and allegedly proposed that MV Realty would pay the homeowners a small sum of money in order to be their exclusive listing agent, should they ever sell their homes. But, according to a November 2022 release from Florida’s attorney general, MV Realty was conducting “deceptive, unfair and unconscionable business practices that result in homeowners signing away home equity for a paltry upfront payment. The defendants offer homeowners $300 to $5,000 as a cash loan alternative in exchange for an agreement to use the company as an exclusive listing broker. However, after accepting the payment, homeowners discover that MV Realty files a 40-year lien on the property that requires paying 3% of the value of the home to MV Realty, regardless of whether the company ever provides any real estate listing services.”
MV Realty is also being sued by the state AGs of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts for the same practice.
“Mortgage scams are some of the most pernicious types of robocalls we see. 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,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.