COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – South Carolina has joined more than 40 other states and the District of Columbia in suing a telecommunication company and its owner and vice president who are allegedly responsible for billions of illegal robocalls.
Attorney General Alan Wilson sued Michael D. Lanksy, LLC, which does business under the name Avid Telecom, its owner Michael Lanskey and vice president Stacey S. Reeves for allegedly initiating and facilitating billions of illegal robocalls to millions of people and violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the telemarketing Sales Rule and other federals and state telemarketing and consumer laws.
According to Wilson’s office, 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 – approximately 98.4 million of those calls were to numbers in South Carolina.
“Robocalls are like the chocolates on the I Love Lucy episode- they never stop coming,” Wilson said. “This lawsuit is possible only because of the bipartisan efforts of all 51 attorneys general, working with the Federal Trade Commission and the Social Security Administration.”
Avid Telecom is a Voice over Internet Protocol service provider which sells data, phone numbers, dialing software, and expertise to help its customers make mass robocalls.
It also serves as an intermediate provider and allegedly facilitated or helped route illegal robocalls across the country.
According to Wilson’s office from December 2018 and January 2023, Avid sent or attempted to transmit more than 24.5 billion calls. Nearly all of those calls – more than 90% – lasted less than 15 seconds, which indicates they were likely robocalls.
Avid allegedly 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.
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. Examples of some of these scam calls are available to listen to here and here.
The suit alleges USTelecom-led Industry Traceback Group, which notifies providers about known and suspected illegal robocalls sent across their networks, sent at least 329 notifications to Avid Telecom that it was transmitting these calls, but Avid Telecom continued to do so.
You can read the full complaint below.