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Colorado attorney general joining national suit seeking accountability

A.G. claims Avid Telecom facilitated nearly 150 million robocalls in Colorado from 2018 to 2022
Posted at 5:00 AM, Jun 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-10 18:53:04-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser tells News5 he’s now taking a lead role in suing a telecommunications company accused of making billions of illegal robocalls nationwide. News5 is looking into the allegations and why fraud experts say this could be a landmark moment for defending against annoying and risky robocalls.

Weiser is a part of this 140 page lawsuit targeting Avid Telecom after he says it facilitated nearly 150 million robocalls to the phones of people in our state between 2018 and 2022.

The company denies it did anything wrong, but law enforcement leaders across the country are joining forces to push for consequences.

”There are people afraid to pick up their phones because they know so many calls are scam calls,” said Weiser.

Colorado’s attorney general says during the last five years Avid Telecom facilitated robocalls that included harmful scam and fraud calls, like IRS imposter calls.

”They are an enabler for the robocallers,” Weiser told News5. “They provide the technology knowing there are these scam artists who use it. 90% plus of the calls were actually ones that didn’t last more than 10 to 15 seconds.”

Legal council for Avid Telecom Neil Ende responded to these claims saying "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 attorneys general, as it has on many occasions in the past, to further demonstrate its good faith and lawful conduct. In this context, the company is disappointed that the attorneys’ general chose not to communicate their concerns directly before filing the lawsuit. While the company always prefers to work with regulators and law enforcement to address issues of concern, as necessary, the company will defend itself vigorously and vindicate its rights and reputation through the legal process."

J. Michael Skiba known as “Dr. Fraud” at CSU Global says Colorado consumers will have a chance to learn a lot as this plays out in the courts.

”How they got your number in the first place, how they used your local health care company to make it look like it’s them calling you, or your bank. That’s what’s going to be important for the consumer to understand the inner workings of that,” said Skiba.

If the Colorado AG and company can win this case, Skiba says it could serve as an important deterrent for companies dealing in robocalls in the future.

”If things go really well here and regulations are put in place that’s going to make companies really think twice about making those questionable decisions about selling customer information and about those aggressive sales tactics,” said Skiba.

Working across the aisle, attorneys general from 48 states and Washington D.C. are seeking meaningful accountability when it comes to robocalls.

”We don’t see enough examples of people working together to solve problems, but on robocalls we have a powerful such case and we’ll stay on it,” promised Weiser.

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