Sick of hearing about your car’s extended warranty? So is the rest of the country. Robocalls have been a nuisance for decades and 48 states are banning together to finally do something about it.
Attorney generals throughout the U.S. have collectively filed a 141-page lawsuit against Avid Telecom, alleging the company robocalled over 7.5 billion people on the National Do Not Call Registry. This is a violation of a number of federal and state telemarketing and consumer laws, such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule.
The lawsuit outlines accusations Avid Telecom used false caller ID numbers and even made 8.4 million calls pretending to be official government such as Social Security and Medicare, or law enforcement agencies in addition to private companies.
“Americans are sick and tired of their phones ringing off the hook with fraudulent robocalls. Seniors and vulnerable consumers have been scammed out of millions because of these illegal robocalls,” said Letitia James, Attorney General of New York.
Last year, the Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force was formed to track down sources of robocalls and sue telecommunication companies with high volumes of such intruding calls. According to Arizona’s Attorney General, Kris Mayes stated around 197 million robocalls interrupted residents from December 2018 through January 2023.
In response to the lawsuit, Avid Telecom’s legal counselor, Neil Ende released this statement:
“Contrary to the allegations in the complaint, Avid Telecom operates in a manner that is compliant with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations. The company has never been found by any court or regulatory authority to have transmitted unlawful traffic, and it is prepared to meet with the attorney general, as it has on many occasions in the past, to further demonstrate its good faith and lawful conduct.”
Avid Telecom will have its day(s) in court to make its case, while Americans wait with silenced phones as this lawsuit could set a precedent for going after other robocalling companies.
Robocalls aren’t just intrusive, they’re also a breeding ground for identity theft and other types of fraud. It’s advisable not to answer them and remember never to give out personal information to anyone. If a company is claiming you owe them money or otherwise needs your information, they would request it via the mail. If you’re uncertain whether a legit company is calling you, simply hang up and call its official customer service line to verify you’re actually speaking to who you think you are.