Robocallers Beware – US Government is Coming for You

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United States Nationwide Crackdown on Robocalls

Cristal M Clark  

I wear a lot of hats at my job and one of them happens to be obtaining numbers for each robocall we get, now of course I have to rely on my team to assist with this, currently I have something of like 20 lists of phone numbers all robocalls and telemarketing bullshit.

One of my favorites is someone insisting their call is not a sales call, I don’t waste a lot of time, I simply ask if they charge for their services, when they answer yes, I laugh and hang up, it’s a bloody sales call you bloody wanker.

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On any given day my organization can receive up to 50+ robocalls, before noon and every time the US government makes an announcement to crack down on them, it only seems to intensify the number of calls we get in a day.

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This week the US Government sent out a warning to robocallers, “We’re coming for you!” more or less.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. government has been cleared to conduct a nationwide crackdown on illegal robocalls that target companies and individuals who, according to the FTC have collectively placed over 1 billion unwanted calls for financial schemes and other services. The numbers are actually quite a bit hither than a mere 1 billion, the problem is that people got sick of reporting the calls to the FTC because it hasn’t seemed to do much in the way of preventing them from continuing.

I log the numbers and block them, the biggest reason I log them however is that by the time the FTC really does start to crack down on them, I’ll just forward the lists over to them.

According the FTC the crackdown involves nearly 100 cases, 5 of them are criminal enforcement actions. They were brought by the FTC, Justice Department, 15 states and local authorities. Derek Jason Bartoli, is one of the targets, a Florida man who allegedly developed, sold and used a form of software that allows millions of calls to be placed in quick succession, was responsible for 57 million calls to US phone numbers over six months in 2017, according to a federal complaint. I know many of you would just love to give good ole Derek the one finger salute, as would I but let’s just let the feds handle him for now.

Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s bureau of consumer protection said; “By putting people like Derek Bartoli out of business, we are able to deprive the robocallers of the important tools of their trade.” Which is actually a rather bit, inaccurate if you will. Derek’s software has been sold, copied and improved upon by others, part of the reason robocalls have gotten so out of hand.

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Lawmakers in both chambers of Congress are preparing legislation that would expand the government’s power to limit illegal robocalls. On Tuesday, a House subcommittee is expected to consider the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act. The bill directs the Federal Communications Commission to flesh out its rules making clear that robocalls may only be made to consumers with their consent. In the Senate, the TRACED Act would expand the FCC’s power to punish illegal robocallers by increasing the maximum fines the agency can levy for each robocall and by extending the statute of limitations from 1 to just 3 years. And, the FTC still wants us to report the unwanted calls which they say will empower them to stop the calls.

I am not a huge fan of doing the job for the FTC however, my mobile carrier already knows which calls are spam and which are not, perhaps the FTC should expand upon it’s ability to ask individuals for help and start asking mobile carriers, Google is also from what I hear and excellent resource to find known robocall numbers, YouMail actually keeps a free online known Robo/Spam caller index and includes the actual number of reported complaints along with each number and let me tell you, some of those numbers are staggering.

The biggest problem I have with the FTC asking everyone to report the numbers to them is that we have been doing just that for years and to date all we keep seeing is lip service, pretty little laws that are on paper, but other than that, not much is being done to actually stop the unwanted calls. Consumers want to see swift action, and harsh action.

 

Either do something or shut it, consumers are getting really tired of lip service from our Government who promises action, yet does very little in the way of that.

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop on twitter

https://www.instagram.com/crimeshop.cc/?hl=en

And https://gab.ai/thecrimeshop

 

Robo, Telemarketing, Research & Scam Calls -Hitting Epic Proportions

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And Hitting the Nerves of Everyone

Did you know that for the month of June Americans received an estimated 4.1 billion robo calls? July’s numbers will more than likely be around the same, if not worse.

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That isn’t even the tip of the iceberg in terms of junk calls citizens and businesses receive on a daily basis.

These types of calls are not just annoying, they are hitting the nerves of anyone who is receiving them.

Years ago, when I worked at GOFAST Sports & Beverage Troy, the former owner of the company warned me that we’d get scammers calling all of the time when he and/or our athletes traveled. Turned out, we did.

Most of the calls were to inform us that someone was gravely injured either Troy or one of the athletes, and the callers would ask for money to pay for things like reattaching the head to the neck or a limb of some sort.

Maybe not that gruesome however, the callers did want money to pay for the supposedly athletes or Troy’s “medical treatment.”

All of the calls were a scam, even Troy’s poor grandmother received a call once at her home.

For most private citizens these calls are a combination of billing collections, sales related, insurance, surveys, offers for loans, scammers and the like, but for businesses, that is an entirely different set of nightmares all together.

The worst of this news is that the FTC is virtually powerless to stop many of these calls because so many are coming in, most of which are utilizing spoofed numbers, VoIp services and the like.

Telemarketers will actually argue with a business owner in an effort to gain the business, as if that actually works, I mean really, do these companies hire grade school dropouts that feel temper tantrums via a phone call will earn business or a credit card number?

They call relentlessly from blocked numbers (those numbers can be unblocked though), harassing businesses nationwide.

We have everything including over a dozen a day of those goddamned Google listing calls. Hey by the way to those of you running the companies behind these calls, we all know you are not affiliated in any way with Google, we can in fact, easily handle our own Google listing because we know how it works and Google actually hates you guys.

The list could go on all day but here are a few of the more popular ones aside from bill collectors:

The cheap health and life insurance calls

The Medicare calls

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Those guys who have a foreign accent so thick that the only things you can understand are that their name is Bob and they aren’t really from any American organization or America

The guys calling about an important business matter

The ones calling about the office copier

Those annoying robo calls that start with something like “Hi, this is Becky…”

Or “Do not hang up, we’re calling because you haven’t updated your Google listing”

Then the telemarketers and surveys

Your business has qualified for a fantastic loan

That long distance billing company that started years ago via snail mail, oh they still do the snail mail, but now they are also calling companies in the hope that someone, anyone will pay the past due bill they are calling about for the long distance calling plan you never signed up for.

Survey calls

I recently had a call from a company on behalf of Spectrum VoIP, they wanted me to take a survey. I told the guy no, thanks, I’m in a meeting and he proceeds to argue with me. Naturally I hung up and he calls back to inform me, yes me, that I’m not in a meeting, I hang up again and he calls back.

Yes, yes, pissing me off is a way to earn my business, Spectrum

Comcast contracts the same vulgar types of organizations who do the same thing.

Trust me, I am the last person you want on the other end of the line, I quite enjoy making a telemarketer’s job excruciatingly painful.

My most recent favorite calls are the robo calls in such poor broken English and grammar that you simply cannot decide to laugh or be upset at the intrusion.

Like the one that one going around supposedly from “Federal Government.” The call starts with “this is a call from Federal Government you been on the run for too long…” it goes on to inform you that they’ve found you, in the worst broken English robo call that I have ever heard, then asks you to please call them back at a completely different number.

Ummm to whomever is behind this call, here in the United States the feds do not give you a bloody curtesy call if you’ve been “hiding” from them and they are looking for you.

Rather, I believe they just kick in one’s door with a warrant in hand man.

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Not to mention very few individuals have a land line these days so more often than not these calls are going to a cell phone when it’s not going to a business line.

Who in the bloody hell actually answers their cell these days even if you know the callers? Don’t we all just look at our cells oddly wondering why in the hell our friends and loved ones are calling rather than texting? No one answers a call from a number that they do not know for sure.

I do have quite a novel idea here though. Why don’t all of the scammers, spammers and telemarketers dial up the United States Government, you know all of our defunct agencies that are in the nasty little habit of already committing fraud and waste through spending erroneously.

All of those oversight agencies, that rather than fight waste, abuse and fraud in the system, they commit it themselves.

You are sure to get some hard-earned tax payer money from all of these agencies, including the IRS, the Office of the Inspector General for Veterans Affairs, US Government Accountability Office, the US Department of Education, Human Services, USDA, the Department of Treasury, the Department of Labor, all of those annoying oversight committees that aren’t really doing much, you do get the point however, they all love just blowing money on nothing, for instance the salaries they are not really earning.

You should even telephone the White House for I am more than positive should you annoy the president enough he might very well just tweet his every credit card number in sheer frustration.

Do however leave our law enforcement and intelligence agencies alone, we need those lines open you know for urgent matters.

Instead of annoy millions of American’s and businesses, why not help us alleviate and annoy the organizations that are already pissing money away, who knows they might just piss some away to you.

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop on twitter

And https://gab.ai/thecrimeshop