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Attorney General Brown sues Avid Telecom over illegal robocalls

BALTIMORE, MD—Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown this week announced that, along with 48 other Attorneys General’s Offices, the Consumer Protection Division has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, alleging that Michael D. Lansky, LLC, which does business under the name Avid Telecom, and the company’s owner, Michael Lansky, and Vice President, Stacey S. Reeves, initiated and facilitated billions of illegal robocalls in violation of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the federal Telemarketing Sales Rule, the Maryland Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and other federal and state telemarketing and consumer laws.

The Attorneys General allege that, between 2018 and 2023, Avid Telecom sent or attempted to transmit more than 24.5 billion calls nationwide, with millions ringing Maryland telephones. Over 7.5 billion of those calls went to telephone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry.

The Attorneys General allege that Avid Telecom is a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service provider that sells data, phone numbers, dialing software, and advice to help their customers make mass robocalls. Avid Telecom also allegedly helped to route illegal robocalls across the country as an “intermediate provider.” Further, according to the complaint, 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 allegedly sent or transmitted calls related to Social Security Administration scams, Medicare scams, auto warranty scams, Amazon scams, DirecTV scams, credit card interest rate reduction scams, and employment scams.

“We cannot allow fraudulent robocallers to invade homes, disrupt lives, and violate the trust of Marylanders,” said Attorney General Brown. “This lawsuit is a significant step towards stopping these illegal robocalls and preventing bad actors from defrauding Marylanders of their personal information and their hard-earned money by deceiving them into picking up their phones.”

According to the complaint, the USTelecom-led Industry Traceback Group, which notifies providers about known and suspected illegal robocalls sent across their networks, sent at least 329 notifications to Avid Telecom that it was transmitting fraudulent calls, but Avid 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.

Joining Attorney General Brown in filing today’s complaint are the Attorneys General of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Photo via Pixabay

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