Arizona Attorney General files lawsuit against telecommunications company over illegal robocalls
May 23, 2023, 3:15 PM
(Photo by Genesis Sandoval/Cronkite News)
PHOENIX – Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes announced Tuesday she is suing a telecommunications company and its owner for allegedly initiating and facilitating 7.5 billion robocalls to millions of people on the Do Not Call Registry.
Nearly 196,658,000 million of those calls were made between December 2018 and January 2023 to Arizona phone numbers, according to a press release.
The legal action emerges from the nationwide Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force of 51 bipartisan attorneys general from around the U.S. The task force is investigating and taking legal action against those responsible for routing significant volumes of illegal robocall traffic into and across the country.
The Federal Trade Commission and the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General provided investigative assistance.
The lawsuit alleges Michael D. Lansky, LLC, which does business under Avid Telecom, its owner Michael Lansky and its vice president Stacey S. Reeves violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Telemarking Sales Rule and other federal and state telemarking and consumer laws.
Avid Telecom is a Voice over Internet Protocol service provider that sells data, phone numbers dialing software, and/or expertise to help its customers make mass robocalls.
The suit claims Avid Telecom used spoofed or invalid caller ID numbers, including more than 8.4 million calls that appeared to come from government, law enforcement agencies and private companies.
“Every day, countless Arizona consumers are harassed and annoyed by a relentless barrage of unwanted robocalls – and in some instances these illegal calls threaten consumers with lawsuits and arrest,” Mayes said in the press release. “More disturbingly, many of these calls are scams designed to pressure frightened consumers, often senior citizens, into handing over their hard-earned money. Such a blatant disregard for consumer protection laws will not be tolerated and violators of these laws will be held accountable.”
The US Telecom-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 the calls but Avid Telecom continued.