Auto Warranty Robocall Telecom Provider Shut Down by Michigan Attorney General
California VoIP voice service provider Modok LLC allegedly carried illegal foreign robocall traffic
Posted by Brandon Zito
August 9, 2020
A telecom provider accused of carrying extended warranty scam robocalls is shut down as Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced a settlement agreement requiring a California-based Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) voice service provider, MODOK LLC, to exit the VoIP telecom industry and begin winding down its operations.
This settlement agreement marks the first time a state attorney general has been able to permanently shut down a VoIP service provider and bar its ownership from working in the industry.
I am proud to announce that we have successfully put an end to one of the many illegal robocall operations that has targeted Michiganders and people around the country. I want to thank my team for their hard work and for making history with this settlement. Let this serve as a notice to other robocallers or their service providers out there: We will continue to protect Michigan consumers and pursue illegal robocalls to the furthest extent of the law.
The Attorney General’s office used complaints sent to the office by the public to trace illegal robocalls regarding Social Security Administration scams and auto-warranty scams to MODOK LLC, which had allegedly been carrying foreign illegal robocall traffic into the United States and on to Michigan residents. As part of AG Nessel’s Robocall Crackdown Initiative, significant resources are provided to the public through the website, including a complaint form specific to robocalls.
Warranty scam robocalls traced
Nessel's office traced illegal extended warranty scam robocalls and social security scam robocalls to the company using complaints sent in by the public.
From the outset, AG Nessel’s Robocall Crackdown Initiative prioritized the targeting of VoIP service providers carrying illegal robocalls as these businesses are the major conduits for scammers and others to cheaply and effectively make millions of illegal robocalls within minutes to consumers all over the country.
“Cracking down on such a public nuisance was a promise I made from the start of my tenure,” said Nessel. “And today I am proud to announce that we have successfully put an end to one of the many illegal robocall operations that has targeted Michiganders and people around the country. I want to thank my team for their hard work and for making history with this settlement. Let this serve as a notice to other robocallers or their service providers out there: We will continue to protect Michigan consumers and pursue illegal robocalls to the furthest extent of the law.”
Robocall Crackdown Initiative
Since its launch in November, the Robocall Crackdown Initiative has made significant progress.
Most recently, Michigan Assistant Attorney General Wisam Naoum was appointed by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai to the FCC’s new Hospital Robocall Protection Group, an advisory committee required by Congress to issue best practices to protect hospitals from robocalls. In June, AG Nessel filed a federal lawsuit in Texas alongside six other states for an alleged robocall operation responsible for over a billion illegal robocalls. AG Nessel also joined 51 other attorneys general in encouraging the FCC to facilitate continued collaboration among state attorneys general and telecom companies to coordinate tracing back illegal robocalls to their source through a single FCC-sanctioned industry group. In early May, Nessel also cosponsored a letter—joined by 51 other attorneys general—to USTelecom urging the association to further develop robocall traceback and other tools suited to law enforcement needs.
The FTC issued a warning letter to MODOK LLC and other VoIP telecom providers in January reminding them of, among other things, the Telemarketing Sales Rules — a copy of the letter can be downloaded here.
Read more at Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel