Utah Attorney General sues Avid Telecom over illegal robocalls

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes, representing the Utah Department of Consumer Protection (DCP), a branch within the Utah Department of Commerce, is suing Tucson-based Avid Telecom and its owner Michael D. Lansky and Vice President Stacey S. Reeves.

Reyes alleges that Avid Telecom initiates and facilitates billions of illegal robocalls to millions of people and violates 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 – more than 72 million of which went to numbers in Utah.

“Robocalls are beyond annoying, they’re a threat to citizens in Utah and nationwide. For years, our office has been working closely with the Division of Consumer Protection and other state attorneys general to fight these scammers. It’s gratifying to take on Avid Telecom in order to halt the billions of illegal robocalls every year,” said Attorney General Reyes.

As a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service provider, Avid Telecom offers data, phone numbers, dialing software, and/or consulting services to assist its clients in making large numbers of robocalls. Additionally, it acts as a middleman and is accused of facilitating or aiding in the distribution of unlawful robocalls across the country.

Avid sent or attempted to send more than 24.5 billion calls between December 2018 and January 2023. More over 90% of those calls lasted under 15 seconds, which suggests that they were probably robocalls. Additionally, Avid assisted in the making of hundreds of millions of calls with fake or invalid caller ID numbers, including more than 8.4 million calls that purported to be from public entities, private businesses, and law enforcement agencies.

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.

Avid Telecom received at least 329 notifications from the USTelecom-led Industry Traceback Group that it was transmitting known and suspected illegal robocalls through its networks, but Avid Telecom persisted in doing so.

The anti-robocall multi-state litigation task force, composed of 51 bipartisan attorney generals across the country, bears responsibility for the current legal fight. The task force is looking into and prosecuting those in charge of directing large amounts of illegal robocall traffic into and throughout the United States. Investigation support was given by the Office of the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration and the Federal Trade Commission.

Over 47 states including Utah have recently sued Avid Telecom for their illegal actions.

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