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The 'Robo Revenge' App Makes It Easy to Sue Robocallers : technology
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robocall  scammer  telemarketers 
7 weeks ago by aliksd
This app automatically cancels and sues robocallers • VICE
Edward Ongweso:
<p>DoNotPay’s Free Trial Card creates a virtual, one-time-use credit card to protect you from getting charged by “industrialized scams” like free trials. DoNotPay's original offering was a chatbot lawyer program that automatically disputed parking tickets in small claims court.

Robo Revenge combines both features to automatically add you to the Do Not Call Registry, generate a virtual DoNotPay burner credit card to provide scammers when they illegally call you anyways, use the transaction information to get the scammer’s contact information, then walk you through how to sue them for as much as $3,000 per call under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a law already on the books meant to protect consumers from calls that violate the Do Not Call Registry. The app also streamlines the litigation paperwork by automatically generating demand letters and court filing documents.

“There are two types of scammers. There are the scammers based abroad who are trying to get your bank details—those people you can’t sue because you don’t even know where they are. But the type we can stop is the businesses like a U.S. based travel company trying to sell you a cruise and asking for your credit card number,” Browder said. “We can take them out with U.S. based laws. If they’re calling someone and every time they’re calling someone, there’s a risk of a penalty, maybe they’ll think twice.”

Together, new legislation and mass adoption of the app might be sufficient to overcome the technological and regulatory difficulties of reigning in illegal robocallers. Browder, however, also wants to shift some agency back into the consumer’s hands.</p>


Amazing stat in this story: spam calls have gone from 3.7% of (US) calls in 2017 to 29.2% in 2018 and were heading to 50% for 2019. Maybe a privacy law might help...?
robocall  app 
8 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Ringbot
This service allows you to make a robot call a given phone number and read out the message you type in. Just type the phone number, the message and you are all set.
telecoms  robocall  customercare  twilio 
july 2019 by kexrex
MyHumans - Regain control of incoming iPhone calls
This is what it's come to, a call blocking app that only allows calls from your contacts (without modifying the rest of your notifications). Even with 3 call blockers running I still get multiple robocalls every day, so I don't see any other option.
robocall  spam  ios 
june 2019 by ttscoff
One year later, restaurants are still confused by Google Duplex • The Verge
Natt Garun:
<p>Some employees were even skeptical about whether the voice on the other line is truly a robot. Gabriel Murphy, owner and chef at Gogi’s Restaurant in Jacksonville, Oregon, said he tried the AI out on his staff as he monitored the call in private. When he later told them it was Duplex, the team didn’t believe they were truly talking to an AI. “None of the staff seemed to have any issue with it, [but] there were plenty of jokes about Skynet and machines taking over,” Murphy says.

But Google’s machines don’t seem to be taking over yet. As the US continues to deal with an <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/11/7/18069178/end-robocalls-lawsuits-do-not-call-registry-ftc">onslaught of spammy robocalls</a>, it seems that many restaurant employees are inadvertently shielding themselves from Duplex by ignoring incoming calls that do not display a person’s name. Mark Seaman, a manager at two-year-old restaurant Queens Bully, in Forest Hills, New York, says he often tries to avoid calls from businesses that look like they could be pitching the restaurant on a product or service. “Most of our growth comes from our own social media efforts and the parties we throw,” Seaman tells me. “We get calls all the time from people trying to sell us something [we don’t need].”

Although Google does not personally call businesses to convince them to buy ads, it stands to reason why many restaurant employees would shy away from answering calls that list the company in its caller ID in the first place. As Google plans to extend Duplex beyond restaurants and into other appointment-based services like hair salons, it’ll have to do more to convince businesses that its robocalls, at least from the surface, are different than the ones most Americans are accustomed to.</p>

The Caller ID issue is going to be a big one. Americans suffer terribly from spam calls. (Though what if Google gets <a href="https://www.blog.google/technology/area-120/calljoy-small-business-phone-technology/">its CallJoy system</a> to answer them? AI talking to AI. Or would it block them?) Also, it's been less than a year that Duplex has been in use. You'd have got the same reaction (generally) to the iPhone, iPad, Amazon Echo etc a year after their launch.
google  duplex  robocall 
may 2019 by charlesarthur
Robocall blockers
Useful resources for US cell phone owners
robocall  privacy  phone  verizon  tootme 
april 2019 by nelson
The FCC has fined robocallers $208m. It has collected $6,790 • WSJ
Sarah Krouse:
<p>Since 2015, the Federal Communications Commission has ordered violators of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a law governing telemarketing and robodialing, to pay $208.4m. That sum includes so-called forfeiture orders in cases involving robocalling, Do Not Call Registry and telephone solicitation violations.

So far, the government has collected $6,790 of that amount, according to records obtained by The Wall Street Journal through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The total amount of money secured by the Federal Trade Commission through court judgments in cases involving civil penalties for robocalls or National Do Not Call Registry-related violations, plus the sum requested for consumer redress in fraud-related cases, is $1.5bn since 2004. It has collected $121m of that total, said Ian Barlow, coordinator of the agency’s Do Not Call program, or about 8%. The agency operates the National Do Not Call Registry and regulates telemarketing.

“That number stands on its own. We’re proud of it; we think our enforcement program is pretty strong,” Mr. Barlow said.</p>


Total of 26.3bn (unwanted) robocalls made to US mobile phones in 2018. That number stands on its own too.
robocall  fine 
march 2019 by charlesarthur

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