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Attorneys general sue company for 7.5 billion illegal robocalls

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Lauren Scott

(The Center Square) – Most of the nation’s attorneys general have joined to sue a telecommunications company and its owners after allegedly making over 7 billion illegal robocalls to millions of people on the National Do Not Call Registry. 

Avid Telecom is a Tucson, Arizona-based voice over internet protocol service provider that sells data, phone numbers, dialing software, and/or expertise to help its customers make mass robocalls, according to a May 23 news release.

Avid made more than 24 billion calls over the last five years, the suit said. Around 2 million of these calls were made to Arizona phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry. 

“Every day, millions of American consumers receive a barrage of unwanted robocalls that are harassing, annoying, threatening, and malicious,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that Avid Telecom’s owner Michael Lansky and vice president Stacey S. Reeves violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule. 

In the more than 7.5 billion calls to telephone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, the company used invalid caller ID numbers and more than 8 million calls that appeared to be coming from government or law enforcement agencies. 

“The calls target U.S. consumers,” said AGO Director of Communications Richie Taylor. 

An Avid Telecom transmitted a robocall  November 4, 2021, telling consumers their “Social Security Number has been used for some kind of fraudulent activity in the South Border of Texas.”

Many of the scam calls were concerning social security, disability benefits, and Medicare rewards

Mayes said in the news release that these calls pressure many consumers, often senior citizens, into giving away their hard-earned money. 

Traceback Group, which notifies providers about suspected illegal robocalls sent across their networks, sent more than 300 notifications to Avid informing that it was transmitting illegal calls, but Avid did not stop facilitating the calls. 

According to the news release, the legal action arose from the nationwide Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force of 51 bipartisan attorneys general. The Federal Trade Commission and the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General provided investigative assistance.