Attorney general reaches settlement forcing robocall company out of business

Scam calls about Social Security and auto warranties allegedly passed through the business
Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 3:32 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - A VoIP phone provider based in California has agreed to close and end operations after Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel implicated it in sending robocalls about Social Security and auto warranties to residents.

MODOK LLC agreed to wind down its operations and will be prohibited from ever working in the telecommunications industry again under the settlement announced Friday. Nessel said the agreement is the first time a state attorney general has shut down a VoIP phone provider.

The Michigan Attorney General’s Office received numerous complaints about illegal robocalls about Social Security and auto warranty scams. Investigators used that information to trace the calls back to MODOK, which allegedly carried foreign robocall traffic into the U.S. and Michigan.

Nessel said VoIP, which stands for voice over internet protocol, phone providers are major conduits for scammers and robocallers to make millions of illegal phone calls easily and inexpensively.

“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.”

She said hanging up is the best way of dealing with robocalls. The Michigan Attorney General’s Office has an online form for the public to file an official complaint.

The form requires:

  • Robocaller’s phone number.
  • Your phone number and service provider (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc.).
  • The date and time of the robocall.
  • Whether the robocall was soliciting goods or services.
  • The topic of the robocall scam (e.g. student loans, Social Security numbers, IRS liability, etc.).   

Nessel said robocalls to landline phones cannot be traced, so any complaints about calls to landline phones can’t be used for any investigations.

Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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