Firm Hit With Robocalls Suit: 'Americans Are Sick and Tired'

Attorneys general team up in complaint against Avid Telecom, accused of making 7.5B robocalls
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 26, 2023 9:40 AM CDT
One Company Blamed for 7.5B Robocalls
Does anyone like getting these kind of calls?   (Getty Images/AntonioGuillem)

Attorneys general across the US joined in a lawsuit against a telecommunications company accused of making more than 7.5 billion robocalls to people on the National Do Not Call Registry. The 141-page lawsuit was filed Tuesday in US District Court in Phoenix against Avid Telecom, owner Michael Lansky, and company Vice President Stacey Reeves. It seeks a jury trial to determine damages. The lawsuit arises from the nationwide, bipartisan Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force of 51 attorneys general and the District of Columbia, formed last year to investigate and take legal action against telecoms companies routing volumes of robocall traffic, per the AP. The lawsuit says Avid Telecom used spoofed or invalid caller ID numbers, including more than 8.4 million calls that seemed to come from government and law enforcement agencies, as well as private firms.

The company also allegedly sent or transmitted scam calls about the Social Security Administration, Medicare, Amazon, and DirecTV, as well as auto warranties, employment, and credit card interest-rate reductions. The lawsuit alleges Lansky and Reeves violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and other federal and state telemarketing and consumer laws. "Americans are sick and tired of their phones ringing off the hook with fraudulent robocalls," New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. "Seniors and vulnerable consumers have been scammed out of millions because of these illegal robocalls."

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes concurs, noting nearly 197 million of the robocalls were made to Arizona phone numbers between December 2018 and January 2023. "Every day, countless Arizona consumers are harassed and annoyed by a relentless barrage of unwanted robocalls—and in some instances these illegal calls threaten consumers with lawsuits and arrest," Mayes said in a statement. Neil Ende, the company's outside legal counsel, is pushing back, noting that "contrary to the allegations in the complaint, Avid Telecom operates in a manner that is compliant with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations."

(More robocalls stories.)

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