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NC AG investigating two companies suspected of accepting and routing illegal robocalls

A deal was announced Thursday between 12 phone companies and 51 attorneys general to renew efforts to crack down on robocalls.
(Photo: John Raoux/Associated Press)
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AP
North Carolina’s attorney general is investigating two companies that provide calling service on the internet for possibly accepting and routing illegal robocalls to people across the country.

North Carolina’s attorney general is investigating two companies that provide calling service on the internet for possibly accepting and routing illegal robocalls to people across the country.

Attorney General Josh Stein says the Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force has made formal requests for documents and information from Michael Lansky LLC, also known as Avid Telecom, and One Eye LLC.

Stein alleges that Avid Telecom knowingly accepted and routed illegal robocalls on several occasions, and that CEO Michael Lansky helped another telecom provider hide its suspect traffic.

A person named Prince Anand closed another voice service provider, PZ Telecommunication LLC, and became the apparent CEO of One Eye after the FCC 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. They include scammers posing as the Social Security Administration, Amazon, and employers offering work opportunities.

Fraudsters stole an estimated $29.8 billion from the American people through scam calls in 2021.

In August, Attorney General Stein and the Attorneys General of Indiana and Ohio formed the nationwide Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force to investigate and take legal action against the telecommunications companies responsible for bringing a majority of foreign robocalls into the United States. Fifty-one attorneys general participate in the Task Force.

Here are some tips Stein offered to prevent falling victim to scam callers:

  • 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 and the IRS do not make phone calls to individuals to collect funds.
  • If you suspect fraudulent activity, immediately hang up and do not provide any personal information.
    You can report scam calls to the FTC at 1-877-382-4357.
Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. She has been involved in the media industry in eastern North Carolina for more than three years. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to ENC to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of toddler and baby cuddling, reading, designing costumes for children’s theater and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to westona@cravencc.edu.