Attorneys general across the US have joined 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, its owner Michael D. Lansky and company vice president Stacey S. Reeves. It asked for a jury trial to determine damages.
The case arose out of the nationwide, bipartisan Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force of 51 attorneys general and the District of Columbia. It was formed last year to investigate and take legal action against telecommunications companies that route high volumes of robocall traffic.
Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes said nearly 197 million robocalls were made to Arizona phone numbers between December 2018 and January 2023.
“Every day, countless Arizona consumers are harassed and angered by a relentless barrage of unwanted robocalls — and in some cases these illegal calls threaten consumers with lawsuits and arrests ,” Mayes said in a statement. “More disturbingly, many of these calls are scams designed to pressure frightened consumers, often senior citizens, into handing over their hard-earned money.”
The lawsuit alleges that Avid Telecom used spoofed or invalid caller ID numbers, including more than 8.4 million calls that appeared to be from government and law enforcement agencies as well as private companies. .
The company also allegedly sent or sent scam calls about the Social Security Administration, Medicare, Amazon and DirecTV, as well as car warranties, jobs and credit card interest rate reductions.
“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. “Elderly and vulnerable consumers have been scammed out of millions by these illegal robocalls.”
The lawsuit alleges that Lansky and Reeves violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule and other federal and state telemarketing and consumer laws.
“Contrary to the allegations in the complaint, Avid Telecom has acted in a manner consistent with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations,” said Neil Ende, the company’s outside legal counsel. “The company has not been found by any court or regulatory authority to have transmitted illegal traffic and it is ready to meet with the attorney general, as it has done on many occasions in the past, to show good faith and in accordance with the law behavior.
“In this context, the company is disappointed that the attorneys general chose not to directly communicate their concerns before filing the case,” Ende added. “While the company is always willing to work with regulators and law enforcement to address issues of concern, if necessary, the company will vigorously defend itself and vindicate its rights and reputation through the legal process.” .”
Robocalls have also become an issue during elections in previous years. During the 2020 election, voters across the US received anonymous robocalls in the weeks leading up to Election Day telling them to “stay safe and stay home.”
Calls that falsely state information on mail-in ballots can lead to arrest, debt collection or forced vaccination. Their sentence includes spending 500 hours registering voters in low-income neighborhoods in Washington, DC
Photo: (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)
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