PENNSYLVANIA — As part of a nationwide action, Attorney General Michelle Henry this week sued Avid Telecom and top executives of the company for allegedly initiating and facilitating billions of illegal robocalls to millions of Americans.
The suit alleges Michael D. Lansky, LLC — which does business under the name Avid Telecom, its owner Michael Lansky, and its vice president Stacey S. Reeves — violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and other federal and state telemarketing and consumer laws.
According to the multi-state lawsuit, Avid Telecom sent or transmitted more than 7.5 billion calls to telephone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry. Of these, almost 360 million were calls to Pennsylvanians on the National Do Not Call Registry.
“Robocall scams are not just an annoyance, they are illegal — and they are used to take advantage of our most vulnerable populations,” Attorney General Henry said. “Pennsylvanians have made it clear that robocalls are not welcome here, and I am proud to stand with my colleague Attorneys General to announce this important action in the fight against illegal robocalls.”
Avid Telecom is a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service provider that sells data, phone numbers, dialing software, and/or expertise to help its customers make mass robocalls. It also serves as an intermediate provider and allegedly facilitated or helped route illegal robocalls across the country.
Between December 2018 and January 2023, Avid sent or attempted to transmit more than 24.5 billion calls. More than 90 percent of those calls lasted less than just 15 seconds, which indicates they were likely robocalls. Further, Avid helped make hundreds of millions of calls using spoofed or invalid caller ID numbers, including more than 8.4 million calls that appeared to be coming from government and law enforcement agencies, as well as private companies.
Avid Telecom allegedly sent or transmitted scam calls about Social Security Administration scams, Medicare scams, auto warranty scams, Amazon scams, DirecTV scams, credit card interest rate reduction scams, and employment scams. Examples of some of these scam calls are available to listen to here and here.
The USTelecom-led Industry Traceback Group, which notifies providers about known and suspected illegal robocalls transmitted across their networks, sent at least 329 notifications to Avid Telecom that it was transmitting these calls, but Avid Telecom continued to do so.
This week’s legal action arises from the nationwide Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force of 51 bipartisan Attorneys General. The task force is investigating and taking legal action against those responsible for routing significant volumes of illegal robocall traffic into and across the United States. The Federal Trade Commission and the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General provided investigative assistance in this matter.
Attorney General Henry is joined in filing the complaint by the Attorneys General of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
A copy of the complaint is available HERE.
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