2023-23 ATTORNEY GENERAL LOPEZ SUES AVID TELECOM OVER ILLEGAL ROBOCALLSPosted on May 23, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom
HONOLULU, HI – Attorney General Anne Lopez today sued Michael D. Lansky, LLC, which does business under the name Avid Telecom, its owner Michael Lansky, and its vice president Stacey S. Reeves, for allegedly initiating and facilitating billions of illegal robocalls to millions of people and violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and other federal and state telemarketing and consumer laws.
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.
Of the more than 24.5 billion calls, Avid Telecom sent or transmitted more than 7.5 billion calls to telephone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry – approximately 12 million of those calls were to numbers in Hawaiʻi. 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 sent across their networks, sent at least 329 notifications to Avid Telecom that it was transmitting these calls, but Avid Telecom continued to do so.
Today’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.
“Despite receiving notices and warnings for years that it was transmitting illegal robocalls, Avid Telecom has allegedly ignored all such notices and continues to this day to allow its networks to transmit unwanted and potentially harmful robocalls to residents of Hawai‘i,” says Deputy Attorney General Christopher Leong, who is leading the state’s efforts in this case. “The Department of the Attorney General is committed to protecting the consumers of our state and will work to hold Avid Telecom accountable.”
Attorney General Lopez is joined in filing today’s complaint by the Attorneys General of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Delaware, Florida, Georgia, 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, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
A copy of the Complaint can be found here.
* * *
Special Assistant to the Attorney General
Email: [email protected]