We can all agree that robocalls are the worst. While there may never be a way to get rid of them completely (although agencies are certainly working on it), one of the most prolific sources of these intrusions is eventually taken to court.
CBS News reports that attorneys general from 48 states (plus DC) are coming together to file a bipartisan lawsuit against Arizona-based Avid Telecom, its owner Michael D. Lansky, and Vice President Stacey S. Reeves. The 141-page lawsuit claims the company illegally made more than 7.5 billion calls to people on the National Do Not Call Registry. Arizona Attorney General Kris Meyes says nearly 197 million automated robocalls were made to phone numbers in her state over a five-year period between December 2018 and January 2023.
The lawsuit says Avid Telecom spoofed phone numbers, including 8.4 million that appeared to come from the government or police, and others disguised as originating from Amazon, DirecTV and many more. The lawsuit alleges that Avid Telecom violated the Telephone and Consumer Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and various other telemarketing and consumer laws.
The AGs are asking the court to bar Avid Telecom from making illegal robocalls and to pay damages and restitution to the people it called illegally. They’re also pursuing various legal avenues to make Avid lose money through infringement, which, given the sheer volume of calls it’s made, could add up quickly. Sumco Panama, which was responsible for a comparatively smaller 5 billion robocalls, was fined nearly $300 million by the FCC late last year.
Earlier this month, it was reported that XCast Labs is being sued by the US Federal Trade Commission for allegedly helping other companies call those on the National Do Not Call Registry.
In 2017, Dish reached a settlement that cost them $210 million. The company allegedly made millions of calls in an attempt to sell and promote its satellite television service. Dish ultimately had to pay a civil penalty of $126 million to the US government and $84 million to residents of California, Illinois, North Carolina, and Ohio. Hopefully, we’ll see a similar result with Avid Telecom.
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