A telecoms corporation is being sued by attorneys general from around the country for allegedly making more than 7.5 billion robocalls to persons listed on the Do Not Call Registry.
The 141-page lawsuit was submitted in the US on Tuesday. against Avid Telecom, its owner Michael D. Lansky, and vice president Stacey S. Reeves in the District Court of Phoenix. To assess damages, a jury trial is requested.
The Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force, composed of 51 attorneys general and the District of Columbia, is a federal, bipartisan organization.
It was established last year to look into and sue telecom firms that route large amounts of robocall traffic.
Nearly 197 million of the robocalls, according to Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, were placed to Arizona phone numbers between December 2018 and January 2023.
According to a statement from Mayes, “Numerous Arizona consumers are harassed and irritated by a relentless barrage of unwanted robocalls every day — and in some cases, these illegal calls threaten consumers with lawsuits and arrest.”
More concerningly, many of these calls are frauds intended to coerce fearful consumers—often older adults—into parting with their hard-earned cash.
In the case, it was claimed that Avid Telecom used fake or false caller ID numbers, including more than 8.4 million calls that purported to be from public and private organizations.
Additionally, the business is accused of sending or relaying fraudulent calls regarding the Social Security Administration, Medicare, Amazon, DirecTV, auto warranties, employment, and interest rate reductions on credit cards.
Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, said in a statement, “Americans are sick and tired of their phones ringing off the hook with fraudulent robocalls.” “These illegal robocalls have defrauded seniors and vulnerable consumers out of millions of dollars.”
According to the lawsuit, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and other federal and state telemarketing and consumer laws are allegedly breached by Lansky and Reeves.
According to Neil Ende, the business’ outside legal counsel, “Contrary to the allegations in the complaint, Avid Telecom operates in a manner that complies with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations.”
“The company has never been found to have sent illegal traffic by a court or regulatory authority, and it is prepared to meet with the attorneys general, as it has done on many prior occasions, to show its good faith and legal behavior further.
Ende continued, “In this regard, the corporation is upset that the attorneys general did not clearly express their concerns before launching the action. The corporation will forcefully defend itself and uphold its rights and reputation through the legal system, even though it always prefers to engage with regulators and law enforcement to address matters of concern.
In recent years, robocalls have also become a problem during elections. Voters in every state in the U.S. in the 2020 election received anonymous robocalls in the weeks before Election Day advising them to “stay safe and stay home.”
Over 85,000 robocalls were placed to Black voters in five states by two Republican hoaxers, who were found guilty of fraud.
The callers included a misleading claim that providing personal information on a mail-in ballot could result in debt collection, forced immunization, or jail. They were required to work 500 hours registering voters in Washington, D.C.,’s low-income areas.