Telecom Company Avid Telecom Sued by 48 US States for Routing Billions of Illegal Robocalls

 In a significant legal development, a telecommunications company known as Avid Telecom has faced legal action from 48 US states for allegedly routing an astonishing 7.5 billion illegal and spoofed robocalls to millions of residents who had registered on the 'Do Not Call Registry'. The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the District of Arizona, targets Avid Telecom, its CEO Michael Lansky, and VP of Operations and Sales Stacey Reeves. The states are seeking a jury trial, a permanent injunction against further illegal robocalls, and financial penalties, including restitution or compensation for affected residents. This legal action reflects the determination of state authorities to protect consumers from fraudulent robocall schemes.

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes revealed that Avid Telecom made nearly 196,658,000 of the illegal calls to Arizona phone numbers between December 2018 and January 2023. The lawsuit accuses Avid Telecom of utilizing spoofed or invalid caller ID numbers, with over 8.4 million calls falsely appearing to originate from government agencies, law enforcement entities, and private companies. These calls, often aimed at senior citizens, employed scams designed to coerce vulnerable individuals into relinquishing their hard-earned money. The lawsuit emphasizes the zero-tolerance approach towards violators of consumer protection laws.

Avid Telecom operates as a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service provider, offering data, phone numbers, dialing software, and expertise to facilitate mass robocalls for its customers. Additionally, the company acts as an intermediate provider, allegedly enabling the routing of illegal robocalls across the country. The period between December 2018 and January 2023 saw Avid Telecom transmitting over 24.5 billion calls. Notably, more than 90 percent of these calls lasted less than 15 seconds, indicating their nature as robocalls. Furthermore, Avid Telecom is accused of employing spoofed or invalid caller ID numbers, including over 8.4 million calls disguised as originating from government agencies, law enforcement bodies, and private companies.

The legal action against Avid Telecom stems from the collaborative efforts of the Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force, comprising 51 bipartisan attorneys general from across the United States. This task force is dedicated to investigating and pursuing legal action against entities responsible for routing significant volumes of illegal robocall traffic within and across the country. By joining forces, these attorneys general aim to curb the proliferation of fraudulent robocalls and hold those accountable who engage in such unlawful practices.

The lawsuit filed by 48 US states against Avid Telecom highlights the grave issue of illegal robocalls and the determination of state authorities to protect consumers. Avid Telecom stands accused of routing an astronomical number of fraudulent calls, utilizing spoofed caller ID numbers and targeting individuals on the Do Not Call Registry. The legal action seeks to obtain a permanent injunction against future illegal robocalls, financial penalties, and compensation for affected residents. The nationwide Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force demonstrates the commitment of attorneys general across the country to combat this pervasive issue and ensure the well-being of consumers.