DES MOINES, Iowa – Attorney General Tom Miller on Tuesday announced the national Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force is enforcing investigations into two voice service providers over alleged involvement in illegal robocalls.
“When states formed the national Anti-Robocall Task Force, we promised to take the fight to anyone who helps these scammers and robocallers. With these investigations, we’re doing just that,” Miller said.
The targets of the investigation are Michael Lansky LLC — doing business as Avid Telecom — and One Eye LLC. The national task force is enforcing civil investigative demands (CIDs) against each entity.
Fifty-one attorneys general participate in the national task force, which was launched in August 2022 to investigate and take legal action against the telecommunications companies responsible for bringing a majority of foreign robocalls into the United States.
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.
One Eye has stopped responding to the task force, and Avid has refused to answer the CID. The State of Indiana has moved to enforce these CIDs on behalf of the Task Force.
“The Task Force is dedicated to stopping robocalls and the scams they often facilitate,” Miller said. “If companies aren’t willing to stand up for their customers, our offices will.”
The task force, through evidence detailed in the enforcement actions, believes it has a reasonable basis for investigating Avid Telecom and One Eye.
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.
Miller 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.
- Never give a caller your confidential or personally identifying informationsuch as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, social security numbers, birth date, etc.
- Be wary of any caller who tells you that you have won a free trip, sweepstakes, lottery, contest, or any other “prize” – especially if you never entered the contest. And never pay any money for the delivery of a “prize” or contest winnings such as alleged delivery fees or pre-delivery taxes as a condition of collecting on an alleged “prize” or contest.
- If you suspect fraudulent activity, immediately hang up and do not provide any personal information.