Federal regulators give update on order blocking MV Realty robocalls amid new push to stop robocalls

DAYTON — State and federal leaders came together Tuesday to announce a new push to stop robocalls for good.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost was in Chicago Tuesday to announce a joint state and federal effort called “Operation Stop Spam Calls.”

“We have more than 30 million illegal robocalls in America every day,” Yost said Tuesday.

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The plan involves enforcement actions against companies that make robocalls. It also targets lead generators. Federal regulators said they trick people into providing their contact information and then later lie that they consented to get a robocall.

“The fight is for all of you who are tired of having your phones used as a way to hijack your time and your attention to hound and harass you,” Yost said.

In addition, the plan focuses on the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers that facilitate tens of billions of illegal robocalls annually.

In the I-Team’s months-long investigation into MV Realty, the I-Team’s lead investigator John Bedell spoke to homeowners who said they got cold calls from the company. MV Realty sent us a statement claiming they do not cold call customers, but the I-Team’s investigation has found evidence, including the company’s training materials, showing that’s not the case.

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A public notice from January ordered phone carriers to block MV Realty calls, alleging the company placed substantial amounts of apparently unlawful phone calls to numbers on the National Do Not Call registry.

During the “Operation Stop Spam Calls” announcement, Bedell asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) what the expectation from phone carriers is when those orders are issued and what the response has been from phone carriers since the MV Realty public notice was issued.

“After issuing those notices, those calls ceased. And so at this juncture, we are not aware of any further calls involving MV Realty, but we are watching those and monitoring it closely,” Loyaan Egal, Chief of the Enforcement Bureau at the FCC, said.

The FCC also said they’re keeping an eye on the ongoing lawsuits that Yost and five other state’s Attorneys General offices have filed against MV Realty over their business practices.

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