The Federal Communications Commission has notified US phone service providers of a robocall scam regarding mortgages.  Service providers are supposed to begin taking steps to eliminate the robocalls on their networks, up to and including blocking traffic from the provider where the calls are coming from.

According to the notice from the FCC, a real estate brokerage firm used phone dialing software that makes robocalls, leaves pre-recorded voicemails, and even text messages to send homeowners offers of cash in exchange for signing a 40-year agreement allowing the firm to list their property for sale.

The FCC's investigation found that almost 12 million calls were made to numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, some multiple times a day.  In addition to calling numbers on the DNC registry, they also called homeowners without consent and failed to remove numbers of those who asked not to be contacted, violating rules on telephone solicitation.

Attorneys General from three states, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Florida (where the brokerage firm is based) have filed lawsuits against the firm.

Some tips on identifying a mortgage relief scam from the Federal Trade Commission, taken from the FCC's press release:

  • They will want payment upfront.
  • They will ask for payment by cashier's check, wire transfer, or mobile payment app.
  • They will try to get you to transfer the deed to your house over to them.

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