Attorney General Lynn Fitch has sued a phone service provider for allegedly initiating and facilitating billions of illegal robocalls to individuals throughout the nation for over four years.
According to the lawsuit, Michael D. Lansky, LLC, — which does business under the name Avid Telecom — its owner Michael Lansky, and its vice president Stacey S. Reeves are being accused of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and other federal and state telemarketing and consumer laws.
The company sent or transmitted more than 7.5 billion calls to telephone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, including 53,471,764 to Mississippi numbers between December 2018 and January 2023.
“Robocalls are more than just an irritant and inconvenience, they are gateways to scams,” Fitch said. “In this case, it appears that Avid knowingly violated federal and state robocall laws and, even worse, facilitated scams targeting seniors and consumers. This flagrant disregard for the welfare of our citizens and our laws will not be tolerated in Mississippi.”
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 which were likely robocalls.
Avid also helped make countless 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.
In addition, the company allegedly sent or transmitted calls furthering Social Security Administration scams, Medicare scams, auto warranty scams, Amazon scams, DirecTV scams, credit card interest rate reduction scams, and employment scams.
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 these calls.
Fitch is joined in filing today’s complaint by the attorneys general of 48 states, excluding Alaska.
“Always be wary of callers who specifically ask you to pay by gift card, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency. Look out for prerecorded calls from imposters posing as government agencies. Typically, the Social Security Administration does not make phone calls to individuals,” Fitch explained. “And if you suspect fraudulent activity, immediately hang up and do not provide any personal information.”
A copy of the complaint is available here.
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