Idaho joins lawsuit over illegal robocalls from Arizona business

Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador has joined nearly all U.S. states in suing a company and its officials over billions of illegal robocalls made to millions of people.

An Arizona business known as Avid Telecom reportedly facilitated more than 24.5 billion calls between December 2018 and January 2023, including more than 7.5 billion calls to telephone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, according to a news release from Labrador’s office.

More than 90% of the calls were under 15 seconds long, “which indicates they were likely robocalls,” the news release said.

“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,” the release said.

The suit was filed Tuesday against Avid Telecom, its legal business entity Michael D. Lansky LLC, CEO Michael Lansky and vice president Stacey S. Reeves.

They are accused of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule and other federal and state telemarketing and consumer laws, the news release said.

“Avid Telecom is responsible for millions of illegal spam calls. Often, these calls result in the harassment and intimidation of unsuspecting recipients,” Labrador said in the release. “At the request of our citizens, both Congress and state legislatures have passed multiple laws to stop this behavior, but laws are only good if enforced. My office intends to hold Avid Telecom accountable.”

Avid Telecom has sold data, phone numbers, dialing software and/or expertise to help customers make mass robocalls, and Avid allegedly facilitated or helped route illegal robocalls, the release said.

The lawsuit says Avid Telecom’s alleged robocalls ran the gamut of scam and scare topics, such as:

  • Social Security Administration scams

  • Medicare scams

  • auto warranty scams

  • Amazon scams

  • DirecTV scams

  • credit card interest rate reduction scams

  • employment scams.

A group that notifies telecom providers of illegal robocall activity on their networks sent Avid at least 329 notices that it was transmitting such calls, but Avid didn’t halt the practice, according to the news release.

Idaho’s Office of Attorney General belongs to the bipartisan Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force that includes 51 state attorneys general.