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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.


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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by deimtee on Saturday August 06, @06:17AM (4 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.
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  • (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 (1 child)

    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?