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48 states, DC sue Arizona firm over alleged robocalls to numbers on Do Not Call Registry

A woman receiving an incoming suspected spam call on her phone. (Thai Liang Lim/Getty Images)

Forty-eight states and Washington, D.C., are suing an Arizona telecommunications company for allegedly sending robocalls to millions of numbers on the Do Not Call Registry, according to a filing. 

In the suit, attorneys general from all states except Alaska and South Dakota allege Michael D. Lansky LLC — which does business under the name Avid Telecom — its owner Michael Lansky, and its vice president Stacey Reeves violated federal and state telemarketing and consumer laws with the robocalls between December 2018 and January 2023. 

Avid Telecom allegedly made more than 7.5 billion calls to telephone numbers on the national Do Not Call Registry, “including more than 8.4 million calls that appeared to be coming from government and law enforcement agencies, as well as private companies,” according to a release from Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes.

The Do Not Call Registry is managed by the Federal Trade Commission and allows Americans to opt out of receiving most telemarketing calls. More than 221 million telephone numbers are currently on the list.

“Every day, millions of American consumers receive a barrage of unwanted robocalls that are harassing, annoying, threatening, and malicious,” reads the lawsuit, citing examples of consumers being told their social security number has been used for fraud, an entity is filing a lawsuit against them, or Amazon is trying to contact them. “These calls are all scams designed to scare and harm consumers.”

The suit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, argues Avid Telecom was notified more than 300 times that the firm was transmitting illegal robocalls, but Lansky and the company “chose profit over running a business that conforms to state and federal law.”

“More disturbingly, many of these calls are scams designed to pressure frightened consumers, often senior citizens, into handing over their hard-earned money,” Mayes said in a statement. “Such a blatant disregard for consumer protection laws will not be tolerated and violators of these laws will be held accountable.”

According to the attorneys general, Avid Telecom is a U.S.-based company “Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service provider that sells data, phone numbers, dialing software, and/or expertise to help its customers make mass robocalls.” Its site says it’s a U.S.-based company founded in 2001.

“Robocalls are not only disruptive, unwelcome, and annoying. They result in scamming millions of consumers out of tens of billions of dollars every year,” D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb said in a statement. “Avid Telecom was repeatedly notified to cease facilitating illegal, harmful robocalls but refused to take any preventive action.”

The Hill has reached out to Avid Telecom for comment.

Tags attorney general Avid Telecom Do Not Call registry robocalls

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