An estimated 577 million robocalls sent to California phone numbers on National Do Not Call Registry
Including Social Security, Medicare and employment scams
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today, as part of a bipartisan coalition of 49 attorneys general, announced a lawsuit against Arizona-based Avid Telecom for allegedly initiating and facilitating billions of unlawful robocalls in California and around the country. Those robocalls included Social Security Administration scams, Medicare scams, and employment scams; two robocall examples can be heard here and here. Today’s complaint is the result of efforts by the nationwide Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force, which Attorney General Bonta helped launch last year and is charged with taking legal action against telecommunications companies that perpetuate robocall traffic.
“As the People’s Attorney, I’ve been laser focused on protecting consumers since taking office, and stopping unwanted robocalls is an important bipartisan and nationwide effort,” said Attorney General Bonta. “In addition to being a daily annoyance, robocalls can and do cause real financial damage. I’m taking Avid Telecom to court for delivering not hundreds, or thousands, or millions of robocalls — but billions of robocalls. Our coalition alleges that Avid Telecom has violated federal and state laws, and we are confident that we will prevail.”
From December 2018 to January 2023, Avid Telecom sent or attempted to transmit over 24.5 billion calls to consumers. More than 90% of those calls lasted under 15 seconds, strongly indicating that they were likely robocalls. Further, Avid Telecom sent or transmitted over 7.5 billion calls to telephone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, an estimated 577,879,156 of those calls were to telephone numbers in California. Registering for the National Do Not Call Registry allows consumers to legally opt out from receiving telemarketing calls, but robocallers regularly fail to respect such legal prohibitions.
In the multistate coalition’s complaint, among other misconduct, Attorney General Bonta alleges that Avid Telecom:
- Violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which prohibits any person from making a call using an automatic telephone-dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice to any cellular telephone;
- Violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule, which prohibits abusive and deceptive acts or practices by “sellers” or “telemarketers”;
- Violated the Truth in Caller ID Act, which prohibits the transmission of misleading or inaccurate caller-ID information;
- Violated California’s Unfair Competition Law, which prohibits unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business acts and practices, by transmitting a colossal number of illegal robocalls into California.
In filing today’s complaint, Attorney General Bonta joined the attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia.
A copy of the lawsuit can be found here.