OKLAHOMA CITY (May 23, 2023) - Attorney General Gentner Drummond and 48 other U.S. attorneys general filed a lawsuit today against Avid Telecom, its owner and its vice president for allegedly facilitating billions of illegal robocalls and violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and other federal and state telemarketing and consumer laws.
Avid Telecom, owned by Michael Lansky, 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 – approximately 101 million of those calls were to numbers in Oklahoma.
“Scam robocalls are a nuisance and oftentimes cause financial harm to Oklahomans,” Drummond said. “Those who are responsible for violating the law and initiating or facilitating these fraudulent calls must be held 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, Medicare, auto warranties, Amazon, DirecTV, credit card interest rates and employment. 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 country. The Federal Trade Commission and the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General provided investigative assistance in this matter.
Drummond is joined in filing today’s complaint by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, 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, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
A copy of the complaint is available at https://www.oag.ok.gov/sites/g/files/gmc766/f/documents/2023/conformed_c....