Phoned In

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I receive calls on my cell phone from all across the nation.  The numbers are different but the voice mails are identical offers to sell me insurance, same woman’s voice, exact same words, her recording plays into my voice mail recording over and over and over.

Two thoughts:

Why does the government entity that asserts it has the power to regulate the public airwaves, continue to allow these nuisance calls to happen?

Who makes the decision to buy insurance based on an endless series of voice mails?

Not a bad question…

6 thoughts on “Phoned In

  1. Why does the government entity that asserts it has the power to regulate the public airwaves, continue to allow these nuisance calls to happen?

    Good questions, Joe.

    Here is another question: why do carriers like Verizon allow it to happen?

    I get a number of calls every week from my area code and local exchange. Let’s call it 1234-123-XXXX. Only the last four digit vary. Who knows? The call could actually be originating in a telemarketing boiler room in New Jersey. They spoof the area code and exchange to fool me into believing it is a local call by stuffing the false number into the call packet.

    Ironically, I know that any call coming from that area-code and exchange is probably a marketing call so I don’t answer it.

    Carriers could stop this. All they have to do it ping the calling number to see if it is busy.

    Why ask government to do something private industry should be doing?

    Another better question: does government protect the carriers from class-action lawsuits by its constantly annoyed customers?

  2. it gets worse – folks in the over 70 crowd can tell you there is a non-stop barrage of these calls both on their landlines and on their cells targeted at people who might be easily confused.
    Some are not just the innocent “your computer has been reported with a virus” or “we have important information about your credit cards”, or “we’re calling to provide you the information about the Hooveround chair”.
    A friend’s 85 yr old mother got taken last spring for $8,750.00 bail money on her credit card to get her grandson out of Canadian jail. She told them she was relieved that it wasn’t over $10,000 because that was the card’s limit. So they called the next day looking for the rest for “fines” her grandson would have to pay. When the police were involved at the behest of her daughters they took her statement and sent her a copy for her ins and credit card companies.

  3. Ya, this is a very paradoxical curiosity for reasons Merg states and more.

    The method for the calls is VOIP spoofing, and its almost always the as seen on TV Magic Jack device that we’re talking about as tool of choice in these foreign boiler room call centers. It is truly surprising that something that causes so much public annoyance like the device or VOIP spoofing itself has stayed under the radar of our legislative class.

    Also…I get say 7-8 spam calls a day, and all of them recently have been the health insurance recorded message. Seems strange that this is a more persuasive fraudulent macguffin than the IRS or credit card alert scams.

  4. I posted about this the other day on Facebook. I’m another that won’t answer a call if it’s not in my Contacts, and we unplugged our landline two years ago because all we got was spam calls.

    Our smart phones can do so much these days, that it is ironic that their original feature and reason for being – the phone – is now their most annoying. I, too, see this as a responsibility of the market, not the government, to control. If Verizon, et al, can’t or won’t do something about it, the field is wide-open for a disruptive innovator to enter, satisfy the consumer, and leave the providers without a lunch. (Which does raise a question: What does Verizon, Sprint and the others gain by allowing this spoofing? Does the “traffic” in some way benefit them?)

  5. What I do to avoid this problem is to simply wait for the phone to ring 2-3 times before answering. Most of the cold callers are on autocall programs that hang up after that.

  6. I did something awful to a telemarketer. When I realized it was a telemarketer, I handed the phone to my autistic son who spent something like 45 minutes expounding on his ideas of art & music, interspersed with video game experiences. Funny thing. They never called back.

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