National Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force seeks answers

(Hartford, CT) — Attorney General William Tong today announced the national Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force is asking a court to require two voice service providers to cooperate in multistate investigations over alleged involvement in illegal robocalls.

“Our Task Force has developed solid evidence that both Avid Telecom and One Eye LLC accepted and routed fraudulent robocalls, including government imposter scams, fake legal threats, and phony offers purporting to be from businesses like Amazon and Apple. These scammers are not above the law, and they cannot hide from our investigation. We are seeking a court order to enforce compliance with our investigation and to hold them accountable,” said Attorney General Tong.

The Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force on August 2 issued 20 civil investigative demands seeking answers from 20 gateway providers and other entities allegedly responsible for a majority of foreign robocall traffic. Gateway providers that bring foreign traffic into the U.S. telephone network have a responsibility to ensure the traffic is legal, but these providers are not taking sufficient action to stop robocall traffic. Two of those targets were Michael Lansky LLC — doing business as Avid Telecom — and One Eye LLC. One Eye and Avid have stopped responding to the task force. The national task force today filed petitions in Indiana state court enforcing civil investigative demands (CIDs) against each entity, to compel them to answer interrogatories and produce documents, including all call data records that show the volume and content of the call traffic they are sending to consumers.

Fifty-one attorneys general participate in the national task force. Connecticut is among 16 states on the Executive Committee leading this task force.

“Robocalls are an intrusive and obnoxious menace, responsible for $29.8 billion in fraud last year alone. Our Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force is actively working to shut down this telecom fraud highway and to bring these scammers to justice,” said Attorney General Tong.

The enforcement action against Avid Telecom details several instances in which the task force believes Avid Telecom knowingly accepted and routed illegal robocalls. Further, the task force believes Avid Telecom’s CEO, Michael Lansky, helped another telecom provider hide its suspect traffic.

The enforcement action against One Eye details how an individual named Prince Anand closed another voice service provider, PZ Telecommunication LLC, and became the apparent CEO of One Eye. This transition occurred after the Federal Communications Commission sent PZ Telecom a cease-and-desist letter.

According to the National Consumer Law Center and Electronic Privacy Information Center, more than 33 million scam robocalls are made to Americans every day. These scam calls include fraudsters posing as the Social Security Administration, Amazon and employers offering work opportunities.

Fraudsters stole an estimated $29.8 billion through scam calls in 2021. The task force is focused on shutting down the gateways that profit off this illegal scam traffic.

Attorney General Tong offers the following tips to avoid scams and unwanted calls:

•             Be wary of callers who specifically ask you to pay by gift card, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency. For example, the Internal Revenue Service does not accept iTunes gift cards.

•             Look out for prerecorded calls from imposters posing as government agencies. Typically, the Social Security Administration does not make phone calls to individuals.

•             If you suspect fraudulent activity, immediately hang up and do not provide any personal information.

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Stephen Krauchick

By Stephen Krauchick

DoingItLocal is run by Steve Krauchick. Steve has always had interest with breaking news even as an early teen, opting to listen to the Watergate hearings instead of top 40 on the radio. His interest in news spread to become the communities breaking news leader in Connecticut’s Fairfield County. He strongly believes that the public has right to know what is happening in their backyard and that government needs to be transparent. Steve also likes promoting local businesses.

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