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posted by Fnord666 on Saturday June 05, @02:52AM   Printer-friendly

FCC fight against robocalls goes international:

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on Thursday that it has signed an agreement with its Australian counterpart to work together to fight robocalls.

The signing of the "Memorandum of Understanding" with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is the latest in a number of moves the FCC has made to combat robocalls in recent months.

The agreement seeks for the two agencies to "work together to develop and coordinate a global approach to addressing unlawful robocalls or robotexts, and the unlawful use of inaccurate caller ID information or 'spoofing,' the FCC said.

"Robocall scams are a global problem that require global commitment and cooperation," Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement. "With these irritating calls coming from near and far, we need international cooperation, information sharing, and enforcement to address this matter. I want to thank our Australian friends for working with us on this agreement. By joining together we can help get these scammers off of our networks and protect consumers and businesses around the world."


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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by theluggage on Saturday June 05, @11:57AM (3 children)

    by theluggage (1797) on Saturday June 05, @11:57AM (#1142021)

    If robocalls are a global problem, then how come I've never in my life ever received one?

    Maybe you're just lucky?

    I'm in the UK and, while calling them a "plague" might be an overstatement I've received more than enough to prove they exist, including about four last week in which an obviously robotic voice informed me that my internet connection was about to be cut off due to illegal activity. (Presumably if I'd have hung on I'd have been transferred to a human operator who would have talked me though installing some special anti virus software to fix the problem...) - that's actually pretty evil because it would be pretty frightening for a vulnerable person.

    ...and that's not counting the ones with more convincing recorded human voices, or even actual live humans (after a long suspicious pause while the robot decides that you are actually live and transfers the call). There's is the Telephone Preference Service (or whatever it is called now) which cuts out "genuine" businesses who just think that their sales are more important than your bath, but the problem is that the actual criminals don't actually obey the rules (it's kinda in the job description).

    But the ones that really, really make me angry - and the ones that I can be bothered to argue with are the genuine calls from banks, utilities, phone companies etc. who haven't got it through their thick corporate heads that nobody with a brain cell will discuss personal details with a cold caller and that it is completely irresponsible of them to encourage people to do so, and that the "security questions*" that they use to identify me don't allow me to identify them. Sure, they'll never actually, specifically ask for my PIN, but if I've just been interrupted in mid-thought by a phone call I don't want to engage in a mental chess game with experienced con artist.

    (* Can we ban those too, please? For the benefit of those who's mother's maiden name wasn't syZyG13467%k;^54khtX& ?)

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  • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Saturday June 05, @05:30PM (1 child)

    by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 05, @05:30PM (#1142084)

    We started getting them after a data breach at our telecoms provider (TalkTalk) some years back. A good mix of actual-person calls and a few robocalls. Early ones often pretended to be TalkTalk, but later ones have been robocalls warning us that our subscription to service X is about to be cancelled. The number of calls has dwindled over the years since that breach.

    My favoured reaction (especially with real-person phishing calls) is to chat conversationally with them in a language other than English, until they decide to hang up.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by kazzie on Saturday June 05, @05:42PM

      by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 05, @05:42PM (#1142090)

      P.S. This was all complicated by the fact that our service *did* get cut off because a gentleman living nearby mis-typed their telephone number as ours when they decided to switch providers. We kept getting "sorry you're leaving" transfer letters from our provider, which we cancelled each time, but the other person kept re-requesting the transfer each time "someone" cancelled it for him. Our provider was never told who was making the requests, so couldn't rectify the error at the other end.

      Our service eventually did get cut off when the goodbye letter arrived while we were on holiday, and didn't cancel it in time. Chasing that involved our provider telling us whhich provider they'd transferred the service to, and us explaining to them that they'd transferred a number that belonged to someone else. Apparently they had a bit of a job explaining to the gentleman that "no, we weren't stopping them from transferring their number" , but stopping them from transferring ours. Oh, what fun!

  • (Score: 2) by sjames on Sunday June 06, @04:32AM

    by sjames (2882) on Sunday June 06, @04:32AM (#1142252) Journal

    Four such calls in a day would be a light load for my POTS line. I never answer unless someone starts leaving a message and I recognize them. Most of the callers don't bother with a message at all.