Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by janrinok on Saturday August 06, @12:34AM   Printer-friendly
from the fifty-ways-to-beat-your-scammer dept.

US Attorneys General will take legal action against telecom providers enabling robocalls:

The Attorneys General of all 50 states have joined forces in hopes of giving teeth to the seemingly never-ending fight against robocalls. North Carolina AG Josh Stein, Indiana AG Todd Rokita and Ohio AG Dave Yost are leading the formation of the new Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force. In Stein's announcement, he said the group will focus on taking legal action against telecoms, particularly gateway providers, allowing or turning a blind eye to foreign robocalls made to US numbers.

He explained that gateway providers routing foreign phone calls into the US telephone network have the responsibility under the law to ensure the traffic they're bringing in is legal. Stein said that they mostly aren't taking any action to keep robocalls out of the US phone network, though, and they're even intentionally allowing robocall traffic through in return for steady revenue in many cases.

Recently: FCC Orders Phone Carriers to Block Scammers Behind 8 Billion Robocalls.


Original Submission

 
This discussion was created by janrinok (52) for logged-in users only, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 5, Funny) by ikanreed on Saturday August 06, @12:44AM (7 children)

    by ikanreed (3164) on Saturday August 06, @12:44AM (#1265202) Journal

    But are you going to believe a bunch of guys who let their cars' warranties expire?

    • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Saturday August 06, @02:32AM (6 children)

      by RS3 (6367) on Saturday August 06, @02:32AM (#1265208)

      I must be more fortunate than I feel, but I get very little junk/spam email, and almost no junk/spam robocalls. But I did get one of those fearmongering robocalls about car warranty expiring 2 weeks ago. They might be right- my car just turned 20 and the warranty might be about to expire. I'll have to check. I hope my transmission doesn't die before I buy one of those warranties. (/sarcasm)

      As much as I hate them, and really hate aggressive / guerrilla marketing, about 10 years ago a friend's mom bought one of those extended car warranties for like $2500, and it ended up being a good thing- the car, a Chevy V6, needed head gaskets and some other things- total bill more than the $2500.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by tangomargarine on Saturday August 06, @04:45PM (1 child)

        by tangomargarine (667) on Saturday August 06, @04:45PM (#1265291)

        But I did get one of those fearmongering robocalls about car warranty expiring 2 weeks ago. They might be right- my car just turned 20 and the warranty might be about to expire. I'll have to check. I hope my transmission doesn't die before I buy one of those warranties. (/sarcasm)

        Pfft, you think that's bad? I'm still periodically getting warranty offers in the mail for a car I totaled like 5 years ago now.

        Yeah, I'll get right on ensuring that cube sitting in a landfill somewhere.

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Saturday August 06, @04:56PM

          by RS3 (6367) on Saturday August 06, @04:56PM (#1265296)

          I'm not sure where or by whom the calling / mailing / emailing lists are generated, but they're definitely WORM (Write Once, Read Many). IE, there's no correction mechanism that I've ever seen. When I'm in the mood, which is rare, I like to waste their time. Feign interest, keep them talking, and at some point I or they give up. The purpose is: they have to sell yay many per hour, and I just reduced their productivity. If it gets low enough, maybe they'll abandon being scum of the earth and find something constructive to do.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anartech Systems on Sunday August 07, @03:53AM (3 children)

        by Anartech Systems (11857) on Sunday August 07, @03:53AM (#1265377)

        You must be as paranoid as me. The amount of times I have been queued up in a line and overheard the folks at the counter ask for phone numbers and email addresses to complete the sale, and the amount of people who just automatically hand them over, is baffling. I have had counter folk take umbrage with this simple refusal to hand over these details, one of them smarmily told me that I would miss out on special offers, at which point I told them they could miss out on a $1200 welder sale and walked out the door.

        No, you don't need my phone number to complete the sale, no, you don't need to text or email me a receipt when I can see your thermal printer right there, and unless you can tell me who that dataset will be sold to when your company folds or is eaten by a larger organisation with completely different usage policies, you can cram that shit right back where it belongs, squarely up your arse.

        The outcome of this? Zero spam to a number I have had for 15+ years.

        • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Sunday August 07, @04:46AM (2 children)

          by RS3 (6367) on Sunday August 07, @04:46AM (#1265385)

          I wouldn't call it paranoid. I'm a privacy advocate for sure. It's more that I read these "privacy" policies / agreements, and they always say "we value your privacy". What they mean is "your private information has value, and we're going to capitalize on it."

          But more seriously (less sarcastically) they often / usually say how they will share your information with "their trusted partners". Okay, wait a minute, who are they? And what is their privacy policy? What will they do with my private information? Yeah, right, we don't get to know that.

          It's very disappointing that our so-called government lets this stuff happen. Remember the "shrink-wrap licenses"? You have no idea what they say until you opened the package, at which point it said "by opening this package you have agreed to X, Y, Z".

          I'm encouraged that EU are leading the way in stronger privacy laws, and a few in the US are pushing for some, but it's discouraging how slow the progress is. Why does govt. take so long- years and years- to figure out what's going on?

          I posted in another discussion how I'm having problems with PayPal being blocked. I have not changed anything- same name, same email, same address, same Visa card. I'm getting a different response from every "customer service" person I interact with. One said something about them not having my phone number. There's a bogus number in there- I did not put one in! They say you can delete the number, but guess what, there's no possible delete. You can change it, but not delete. So now they're demanding my actual bank account info. Who is stupid enough to spread that info around? They say "it's for my "security"". WTF! How am I more secure with my bank account info copied who knows where? I've told them exactly that, and that I will never give them my bank account info, and I will just use other forms of payment, and certainly buy online much less. Good old stores still exist and work well.

          And from another rant I posted somewhere on SN, how is it a "contract" when they put "we reserve the right to change the terms of this contract..."?

          It's a never-ending fight. We're all battle-weary. Please, Congress and other leaders, please end all of this spying, voyeurism, liquid "contracts", and selling our private information.

          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anartech Systems on Monday August 08, @12:08PM (1 child)

            by Anartech Systems (11857) on Monday August 08, @12:08PM (#1265531)

            > General government rantings
            The reason they allow this and it takes so long is simple. For better or worse, these mega corps keep the economy running. Billions of taxable dollars spent by the useful idiots on cheap plastic shite which lasts just beyond it's warranty (assuming you aren't coerced into replacing a perfectly good device because FOMO, which has been Apple's M.O. since they worked out the iPhone), new offices and warehouses and all the income they generate for the city councils, income tax benefits from the sudden influx of workers, there are dozens of cherries on that pie. Look at tobacco and booze. The biggest killers out there, and also some of the most highly taxed products on the planet. No government wants to turn that tap off, even if it is at the cost of both the citizens who are paying their taxes, and the health systems which were already stretched long before kung-flu was a thing. The net profit is greater than the net loss, the tap remains cranked wide open.

            The glacial pace is simply to discourage groups without the long term fighting power to actually fight this dross. The only people with the cash and legal backing to lay siege are the companies which are generating the revenue. And the sizable tax breaks they get will make sure they keep their heads down. I suspect this is the reason we are seeing so much unionisation happening in industries that have not historically had it. I like to think the employees are becoming conscious of the impact their employers are having, but I suspect it's more that they are just sick of copping the short end of a very log and gem encrusted stick, and like any good human, they want theirs.

            What to do about this, I do not know, but I feel ya.

            • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Monday August 08, @02:27PM

              by RS3 (6367) on Monday August 08, @02:27PM (#1265542)

              Thank you, you have a good big-picture realistic view and summarize well. I'm rational enough to see merits on both sides of the coin, including politics. Like you so eloquently wrote, the bigger it is, and the bigger the demand is, the less truly free the market is. Although I'm in favor of free-market and free-enterprise for many things, goods and services that are essential to most people's lives need to be highly regulated. Back in the day the monopoly Bell Telephone and AT&T were heavily regulated, and system and service quality was amazing. Local phone service was very inexpensive, but "long-distance" was astronomical. Others (MCI?) wanted to compete on long-distance, got govt. involved, giant boondoggle, broke up Bell / AT&T. Long distance got cheaper, but local service got more expensive, and quality slowly went down.

              To some extent phone and Internet services are regulated, but maybe not enough, or not in the right ways. That companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T grow so huge so quickly should inspire more govt. scrutiny and action. But like you said, the whole govt. - corporation machine, aka "corporatocracy", might be too big, powerful, and entrenched at this point for anyone to make significant strides in getting things under control.

              My ongoing wish: Internet, including cell carriers, would fall under utility category, and be regulated.

              I became very aware of this corporatocracy problem 25 years ago. For all of the reasons you wrote, I'm cynical and have no belief that Congress will ever do much to fix these problems. Little scratches and dents here and there for show, but no real major overhaul.

              Case in point: I'm having barely any cell service where I live. NO T-Mobile, despite their coverage maps saying I should have good signal. I'm not sure what to do about it. I called them, they're very nice and said they'd look into it, but weeks later and no change. FCC should be the ones to fix it, but even they say they don't get involved in individual's problems. Maybe, I'll try. And maybe FTC and/or other govt. agencies, but again, scratches and dents. Oh, and AT&T are throttling my Internet speed, and they're fearless and arrogant enough to tell on their website: if you buy a plan directly from AT&T, they promise they won't throttle your speeds. Obviously admitting they _do_ throttle some people's speeds (those of us on 3rd-party MVNO plans...)

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, @05:12AM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, @05:12AM (#1265222)

    Here on this spot in 2022, "Attorney General" was properly pluralized online.

    Throughout much of the 20th and early 21st century, there was a common misunderstanding that the attorneys were like generals in the army. The linguistic anomaly of a phrase where subject-adjective order is reversed in the English language (see also, court martial) was not lost on the authors of this headline.

    Plaque not erected by E. Vitus Clampus, but it should be.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, @03:05PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, @03:05PM (#1265259)

      Are you a Clamper?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, @03:58PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, @03:58PM (#1265282)

        Or a clampuss?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, @04:58PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, @04:58PM (#1265297)

          Non-binary, you racist.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, @05:44PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, @05:44PM (#1265313)

        No, just a Californian. Clampers are a distinctive minority and while it's not out of the question that one could be a Soylentil also, statistically it just seems unlikely. I don't know if all the Clampers are like this, but around here they have a lot in common with the local motorcycle club and also ride with them. Note, not outlaws like Hells Angels, the other kind of club that does toy drives and turkey runs.

    • (Score: 1) by anubi on Sunday August 07, @05:04AM

      by anubi (2828) on Sunday August 07, @05:04AM (#1265388) Journal

      E. Vitus Clampus...

      Thanks for that. An interesting foray into the Western USA history.

      --
      "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
  • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Saturday August 06, @05:33AM (9 children)

    by deimtee (3272) on Saturday August 06, @05:33AM (#1265225) Journal

    Simply pass a rule that all calls are charged to the originator only. You know, the way the civilized world does it. No using up "minutes" and no fees for incoming calls.

    --
    No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by helel on Saturday August 06, @05:53AM (8 children)

      by helel (2949) on Saturday August 06, @05:53AM (#1265229)

      Depends on the rates being charged. The entire premise of the business is that the operating costs of calling a million people is cheep enough that they can make it up with just a hundred "sales." If going single-payer calling doubles their phone bill it would still likely be cheeper than their call center related costs.

      --
      Republican Patriotism [youtube.com]
      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by deimtee on Saturday August 06, @06:17AM (7 children)

        by deimtee (3272) on Saturday August 06, @06:17AM (#1265236) Journal

        It removes one of the telecoms chief reasons for allowing robocalls. Telecoms charge the spammers bugger-all because they make a shitload of money off the callees. Remove that, and they will either lose revenue or charge the spammers. The way to get rid of an unwanted business practice is to make it uneconomic.
        Pass all the laws you want about making it illegal, as long as spammers make money they will keep doing it, especially since they are in another country and don't have to worry about your rules. It also means people with time to waste can string spammers along with no penalty, making spamming even more uneconomical.

        I'm in AU, on a minimum plan, and I don't pay for incoming calls or texts. I get about 3 spam calls a year, mostly of the "your computer has a virus type". I string them along for as long as I can until I say something like "team-viewer says it can't install on linux". Then they hang up on me. :)

        --
        No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
        • (Score: 2, Informative) by wArlOrd on Saturday August 06, @03:07PM (1 child)

          by wArlOrd (2142) on Saturday August 06, @03:07PM (#1265260)

          It is still important to *identify* the robocalls.
          The people who instantly know this information are the customers/victims. Give them a realtime reporting mechanism (dial *44 *$$ during the call) not an after the fact web site to go and report the bogus caller id info they were fed.
          When the customer's phone provider credits them with the 1$ reward for reporting a crime, everybody wins.
          The phone company then charges the next step of the criminal chain the 1$ *PLUS* the phone company "handling fee" (wouldn't want an innocent collaborator to lose money) thus incentivizing everyone but the original criminal into cracking down. The only ones who lose are the original criminal or an intermediary "phone company" that "doesn't know" who is making calls or where they could be coming from.

          If 1$ a call doesn't solve the problem, double it every week until it does.

          This would also work for any spam or fraud call ring, even with live operators, wouldn't it?

          • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Saturday August 06, @03:43PM

            by deimtee (3272) on Saturday August 06, @03:43PM (#1265274) Journal

            It is still important to *identify* the robocalls.

            As I understand it, the biggest complaint is that those calls actually cost the recipient money. They are practically free to the spammers. Turn that around and the problem goes away.

            The people who instantly know this information are the customers/victims. Give them a realtime reporting mechanism (dial *44 *$$ during the call) not an after the fact web site to go and report the bogus caller id info they were fed.

            You are still putting the onus on the recipients to "do something". The best way to solve a problem is to "not do something". In this case, paying the telcos for spam calls.

            --
            No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
        • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Saturday August 06, @05:37PM (4 children)

          by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 06, @05:37PM (#1265310)

          It removes one of the telecoms chief reasons for allowing robocalls. Telecoms charge the spammers bugger-all because they make a shitload of money off the callees.

          Do they? The vast majority of plans in the US are unlimited minutes and texts. How are they making money off of them when some spammer calls?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, @06:40PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, @06:40PM (#1265327)

            https://www.statista.com/forecasts/1111440/size-of-mobile-data-plan-in-the-us [statista.com]

            43% have unlimited and 10% don't know.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by drussell on Monday August 08, @03:57PM (1 child)

            by drussell (2678) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 08, @03:57PM (#1265560) Journal

            At the carrier / wholesale level, you normally pay some tiny fraction of a cent per minute for incoming call completion, and it's usually about double whatever the outgoing call termination fee is, so yes it is normally cheaper to make the call than it is to receive that call at the wholesale level.

            What the customer pays at the consumer level isn't what we're talking about here...

            Even at the small-enterprise level where wholesale prices are inflated compared to what a large organization or carrier would pay, you can easily see how this works in the actual phone system. Let's say you have a company with 100 phone numbers, one for each of your extensions sitting on each employees desk. You probably pay something like $0.85 per month for each of your DID numbers (the phone number for each employee's extension,) then perhaps $0.008/minute for incoming calls on any of your lines, and $0.004/minute for outgoing calls to other numbers within your country. These are typical prices for a small organization using VOIP trunking into their company's local PBX.

            • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Wednesday August 10, @12:45AM

              by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 10, @12:45AM (#1265873)

              What the customer pays at the consumer level isn't what we're talking about here...

              go read the comment I replied to because that is exactly what we are talking about here.

(1)