Montana AG sues Arizona company responsible for robocalls

Attorney General Knudsen and nearly 50 attorneys general from across the country filed a lawsuit against a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) company that helped facilitate more than 20 million spam robocalls to Montana phone numbers between December 2018 and January 2023, he announced today. Many of the calls transmitted allegedly involved various types of scams.

The coalition filed the lawsuit yesterday against Michael D. Lansky, LLC, which does business under the name Avid Telecom, and company executives 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 sent or transmitted more than 7.5 billion calls to telephone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry between December 2018 and January 2023. Up to 29.6 million of those calls were to numbers in Montana.

“Robocalls aren’t just annoying — they are often the entry point for scammers who steal billions of dollars from consumers each year. What’s worse, companies like Telecom are illegally helping them to do it,” Attorney General Knudsen said. “Nobody should be able to profit from helping criminals rip off Montanans, and we will hold companies accountable in court for breaking the law. I was glad to be part of the launch of the Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force last year, and my office will continue to keep the pressure on bad actors and hold them accountable.”

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.

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.

Yesterday’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.

 

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