Vivek Ramaswamy

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Vivek Ramaswamy hit with a lawsuit over ‘annoying’ New Hampshire robocalls

It's unclear if the suit has any legs.

 

Marlon Ettinger

Tech

Posted on Jan 25, 2024

Former Republican 2024 presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is being sued in an Ohio court by a New Hampshire man named Thomas Grant complaining about robocalls that Grant claims were an “annoyance, nuisance, and invasion of privacy.”

According to the complaint, which was filed on Tuesday, the calls were sent to advertise telephone town halls, where Ramaswamy took calls as he campaigned across Iowa and New Hampshire.

While Ramaswamy has since dropped out of the race and endorsed former President Donald Trump’s bid after a fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, Grant said in the court document that the incessant phone calls “occupied his phone line, and disturbed the use and enjoyment of his phone.”

The lawsuit links to websites where consumers can report annoying robocalls, including by uploading recordings of the calls, the date of the calls, and a transcript of the message.

One call Grant cited was reported to Nomorobo, where it was classified as a “Political Robocall,” with a warning stamped under the Ohio area code phone number telling consumers to “Be cautious.”

Another number Grant cites was reported multiple times on callfilter.app. The reports there make no direct reference to the calls being related to the Ramaswamy campaign, but user comments flagged the number as “spam spam spam,” and a “Political robo call.”

Grant also cited another Ohio number as being the origin of the nuisance calls on 800notes.com.  

There, pseudonymous commenters expressed their displeasure about the annoying calls.

“A political call from Republican candidate Vibek Ramasmarmy about some phone-in townhall meeting,” commented a user called EmotionalProblems on Jun. 21, 2023.

“Another robo-call about some phone-in town meeting with Vibek Ramasmarmy, Republican candidate,” they added on Jul. 3.

“Annoyance caller.  Multiple unwanted calls,” wrote a user called ken on Jul. 9, 2023.

“Appears to be a political call from ScammySammy per the caller ID,” added Al in a comment posted on July 8.

Grant claimed in the suit that his number has been on the national “Do Not Call” registry since June 2, 2009, but that he started getting calls from the Ramaswamy campaign on Jul. 8, 2023.

From then until Oct. 11, he alleges, he received multiple calls from the Ramaswamy campaign despite “never provid[ing] any form of consent to Ramaswamy to receive pre-recorded calls to either his landline residential or cell phone number.”

Because of the potential other plaintiffs which Grant cited, the suit was filed as a potential class action complaint and asks for a minimum of $500 in damages for each defendant and a maximum of $1,500.

The Federal Communications Commission has cracked down on robocalls in the past few years with big fines. In 2023, it issued a nearly $300 billion fine against a network of auto warranty scams which made more than five billion robocalls to 500 million phone numbers over three months in 2021.

A member of Ramaswamy’s presidential campaign didn’t respond to questions about the robocalls or the lawsuit.

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*First Published: Jan 25, 2024, 4:24 pm CST