The Federal Communications Commission last week put voice service providers on notice that it is taking its fight against illegal robocalls seriously, ordering a pair of providers to stop carrying suspected illegal robocalls while also telling all providers to investigate their networks for signs of alleged illegal activity and report back to the FCC what they are doing to stop it, or run the risk of an FCC enforcement action.
The FCC ordered providers to stop carrying illegal traffic generated by PhoneBurner, which was facilitating calls from MV Realty, while also demanding that Twilio cease and desist from carrying the traffic it was receiving from PhoneBurner. Twilio is the largest voice service provider to receive a cease-and-desist letter from the FCC, the agency announced.
Separately, the FCC released details of the types of calls made by MV Realty through PhoneBurner and ordered other voice service providers to investigate whether it carried any of that traffic, and then report their findings back to the FCC. Providers that fail to mitigate this traffic or fails to explain why they think it was legal may face additional enforcement actions from the FCC, the regulator announced.
MV Realty is accused of using robocalls to “swindle” and “scam” consumers into mortgaging their homes for small cash payments. Twilio is being included for failing to conduct the necessary due diligence so it knew its customer and the type of calls it was making. At least three state Attorneys General — Florida, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania — have filed suit against MV Realty.
Companies, especially those using Twilio, might see enhanced due diligence efforts on behalf of the company to ensure the traffic it is facilitating does not raise any more red flags.
“‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) principles should be at the forefront of all communications service providers’ business practices,” said FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Loyaan A. Egal, in a statement. “It is concerning to see such a large provider allowing this kind of traffic on its networks. I hope and expect Twilio to immediately cease and desist. I also thank our partners in state Attorneys General offices around the country for their strong enforcement efforts against MV Realty.”