Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Heck with Facebook -- Fix the Phone Calling

It must be because it was Tuesday.  Or because it was a day of the month ending in a zero.  Or maybe it was a holiday in Mumbai, or because it was not a holiday in Mumbai.  I don't know, but I do care, a lot and more every day.

I have a cell phone, like everyone else, and my best girl has a cell phone.  We have a land line in the house.  You might as well know that, because at this point every boiler room in India not only knows that, but what the numbers are, what the time zone is and how much hair I have left.

I say that because yesterday the phones in the house -- all of them -- apparently became Target #1 for every phone scam on earth, the ones where the phone rings from a bogus or pirated number in Albuquerque or Great Falls or Wichita or Spartanburg.  If you were to pick it up, you'd get Vijay or Krishnan or Amit, calling themselves Ralph or Charlie or Dave.  We all get those calls.

This Tuesday took the cake though, since there must have been at least five such calls on each of the phones here.  Mine were fun; two of them were from the "Finance Department of the United States", of which there is, of course, no such thing, but Vijay -- sorry, I mean "Ralph" -- wouldn't have known that.  Another was from Leesburg, Virginia, and that one said that I had recently inquired about selling a house (?).

So on the same day, Facebook demigod Mark Zuckerberg faced a bunch of senators to answer questions, misleadingly, of course, about data breaches and that sort of thing.  And I readily concede that is a serious issue that needs addressing.

But I would really like to know what the selfsame Congress is doing to investigate why Americans -- all of us, I daresay, at least the ones with phones -- are being bombarded on a daily basis with calls that co-opt an actual phone number to mask their Indian boiler room.  I mean, I'm not happy when I am working, or carrying a drink, or a pile of laundry, or about to tee off, or doing something else valuable, and the phone rings.  Add on to that the annoyance when that call is from the "Vindows Department" claiming to know that I'm having issues with my computer.

Is anyone in authority in Washington doing anything about this?  After all, it is textbook wire fraud to use a commercial medium to misrepresent oneself with the intent to defraud, and since there is no such thing as a "Vindows" ... excuse me, "Windows" Department, there are laws getting broken here.

I'm going to start with my own congressman here and see what is being done (I'm betting the answer is "nothing", but at least I'll get sympathy).  Or perhaps we need to start calling those congressmen on their cell phones and claiming to be from the "Vindows Department" and see if that works.

Of course, our representatives are surely getting those calls too.  Aren't they? Hmmmm.

Copyright 2018 by Robert Sutton
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  1. It didn't help to get on the "no call list" that congress enacted. We even re-signed and it was pointless. At least thank God for caller ID.

    1. I actually contacted my congressman here, but he said that essentially the laws are already in place, which makes it an enforcement issue, squarely in the hands of the FCC.

    2. Well I guess that will take forever.