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FTC Wins Huge $7.5 Million Penalty Against "Do Not Call" List Violator 136

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up dept.
coondoggie writes "The Federal Trade Commission today said it has won a $7.5 million civil penalty – the largest ever — against Mortgage Investors Corporation, one of the nation's biggest refinancers of veterans' home loans for allegedly violating 'Do Not Call' requirements. According to the FTC’s complaint, Mortgage Investors Corporation called consumers on the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry, failed to remove consumers from its company call list upon demand, and misstated the terms of available loan products during telemarketing calls."
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FTC Wins Huge $7.5 Million Penalty Against "Do Not Call" List Violator

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  • Very nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cbhacking (979169) <been_out_cruisin ... nOSPam.yahoo.com> on Friday June 28, 2013 @02:09AM (#44129953) Homepage Journal

    Now, if they could just get those "This is an automated message from account services... Press one if you would like to lower your interest rates to as little as..." assholes, that would be great...

    • by garcia (6573)

      Yesterday I got a scam call for a free resort stay if I was over the age of 28 and would provide them my credit card number.

      While this particular scam is nothing particularly new, what was surprising is that the call appeared to originate from my area code. When I called the number back it went to a woman's voicemail. I'm guessing the entire thing was spoofed and she's an unknowing accomplice to this scam. Hell, they could be choosing numbers entirely at random.

      • by Krojack (575051)

        Spoofed or calls made through some open or hacked PBX such as Asterisk. I run a few Asterisk servers and use to get non-stop hammered with brute force attacks.

    • Re:Very nice (Score:4, Informative)

      by Bill Dimm (463823) on Friday June 28, 2013 @08:09AM (#44131393) Homepage

      But they already got the Cardholder Services people [slashdot.org]. That's how ineffective the penalties really are.

    • by sribe (304414)

      Now, if they could just get those "This is an automated message from account services... Press one if you would like to lower your interest rates to as little as..." assholes, that would be great...

      They did. A couple of months ago. The problem is the ROI is so high on this kind of scam that there's always another scumbag setting up all over again.

      • by ngc3242 (1039950)

        They did. A couple of months ago. The problem is the ROI is so high on this kind of scam that there's always another scumbag setting up all over again.

        The fines for businesses that break the law need to be "the revenue earned during the period when the conduct was occurring" that would eliminate the sociopathic calculus that companies use to determine if the potential downside of breaking the law is less than the upside. Stating the penalty as "all revenue" instead of "all profit" would ensure that they lose more than they gain.

        • by sribe (304414)

          The fines for businesses that break the law need to be "the revenue earned during the period when the conduct was occurring" that would eliminate the sociopathic calculus that companies use to determine if the potential downside of breaking the law is less than the upside. Stating the penalty as "all revenue" instead of "all profit" would ensure that they lose more than they gain.

          While I agree on the ethical/moral sense of "taking ALL their money", you're wrong about the sociopathic calculus. The sociopaths believe that they are smarter than the whole world and will never be caught, so no potential fine is large enough to deter them. The best we can hope for is to bankrupt them, and, ideally, imprison the worst offenders.

          • by Meski (774546)

            The fines for businesses that break the law need to be "the revenue earned during the period when the conduct was occurring" that would eliminate the sociopathic calculus that companies use to determine if the potential downside of breaking the law is less than the upside. Stating the penalty as "all revenue" instead of "all profit" would ensure that they lose more than they gain.

            While I agree on the ethical/moral sense of "taking ALL their money", you're wrong about the sociopathic calculus. The sociopaths believe that they are smarter than the whole world and will never be caught, so no potential fine is large enough to deter them. The best we can hope for is to bankrupt them, and, ideally, imprison the worst offenders.

            China has the right idea here. Execute them, its a 100% deterrent.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          The fines for businesses that break the law need to be "the revenue earned during the period when the conduct was occurring" that would eliminate the sociopathic calculus that companies use to determine if the potential downside of breaking the law is less than the upside. Stating the penalty as "all revenue" instead of "all profit" would ensure that they lose more than they gain.

          That really won't solve things - what will happen is like those "work from home" businesses. basically the companies will simply

        • Unfortunately, it's easy to set up shell corporations that can take the risk, and if they're convicted all the FTC gets is a drawer full of paper, and the money's long gone, and a bunch of low-paid call center operators lose their jobs. You have to get at the infrastructure providers, in ways that don't trash legitimate businesses but do penalize the ones that know they're working for scammers, but as technology makes it easier and easier to do distributed call centers, that gets a lot harder.

      • There is a cost of business calculation in here that makes the fines look ineffectual, along with a generally sleazy business plan that simply reboots the business in a new office under a new name within days.

        What needs to happen is a RICO prosecution which would drag in all the service providers involved with this. ISPs, financial institutions, and all the other generally legitimate businesses that enable this kind of fraud.

        When these guys are ALSO getting $100,000k personal fines + 20 years in jail, alon

        • by sribe (304414)

          What needs to happen is a RICO prosecution which would drag in all the service providers involved with this. ISPs, financial institutions, and all the other generally legitimate businesses that enable this kind of fraud.

          I agree with RICO prosecutions, but not for everyone you're referring to as "enablers". I had a nice chat with someone at the phone company about this once--the problem with these operations is that they stay on the move in order to avoid getting caught. They'll literally lease an office, get phones, start calling, and move to another state within a very short span of time--less than a month. By the time the phone company gathers complaints and can shut off the phones, they're already gone--and of course wi

    • I found an interesting way to get them to stop calling. I happened to be around when they called one time and so I followed the prompts.

      When I got a live person I started asking questions and finally the guy hung up on me. They didn't call back for months and when they did, I hit 1 to get a live person then put the phone down and walked away.

      Haven't gotten a call from them since.

      Don't know if my actions were specific in getting them to stop calling, but it can't hurt to try.

      • I do the same thing and they keep calling. I figure it's worthwhile, though. If everyone just wasted 5 minutes of the real person's time, the scam would be so unprofitable that they'd have to stop.

        • This had been my approach as well, and I have had mixed results. My telemarketing calls have included the Cardholder Services scam, the "you may have a judgment" scam, the car warranty scam, and the free cruise scam. My initial approach was to get into the operator queue and leave the call hanging, but lately my approach has been to actually get to an operator, then "Listen, I'm really busy right now but I'd love to pursue this later. Can I get a callback number? Also, a mailing address so I can start getti

          • by cbhacking (979169)

            Last time I asked for a number the guy started swearing at me and then hung up. :-/ Haven't gotten a call since then but it wasn't long ago...

            • Some of these people go away, but some of them don't, or they get replaced by clones who are just as bad. They do seem to be under more pressure lately; they're much more likely to swear at me instead of just hanging up than they used to be. Asking if they're embarrassed to work for criminals (or scammers, or to rip people off for a living) tends to get the most anger. Asking if they'd like to make a $50,000 reward for ratting out their employer usually just gets a hangup, but sometimes it gets a confus

      • Too bad they always seem to call on my cellphone. I have a limited minutes plan, and don't really feel like wasting them on these slimeballs.
        • by Meski (774546)
          Hang on, you have to pay for incoming calls on mobiles? No wonder these scams work. DownUnder, we pay for outgoing calls. (or get all-you-can-eat plans)
    • Best PR the govt. can get would be to use PRISM to locate these "account services" bastards and Guantanamo Bay their ass.
    • by dwarfking (95773)
      Please please please go after the "Is Kimberly" there Indian call centers. Every single freaking day we get at least one call from those annoying ----
    • Lately I get multiple calls like that every day. The DNC list used to work pretty well but it's worthless now. What changed? Is this part of the effort to get people to give up their landline phones? Never got one such call on my cellphone or Vonage.
  • by Freshly Exhumed (105597) on Friday June 28, 2013 @02:10AM (#44129959) Homepage

    It would be a lot more satisfying to have their PBX system(s) crash repeatedly, preferably during their own dinnertime.

  • by An dochasac (591582) on Friday June 28, 2013 @02:15AM (#44129977)
    Surely Mortgage Investors Corporation pulled in far more than $7.5 Million with this fraud. And they certainly caused more than $7.5 Million in damages to their victims and the rest society by blowing phone spam into the property bubble. What's to stop them or anyone else from doing it again? This should have been a criminal case. Prison for the CEO and board of directors would be more of a deterrent for corporate crimes.
    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Friday June 28, 2013 @02:25AM (#44129991)

      they should have been fined 101% of their total gross income, since the start of the company.

      don't take SOME of their money. take ALL of it.

      if you don't, they still (the generic 'they') will see a profit from their bad behavior.

      • That works, but I agree that violating DNC should carry very heavy pernalties. If I put my number out there specificlaly to say "don't call me", then I damn well don't want to be called.

        • by dkf (304284) <donal.k.fellows@manchester.ac.uk> on Friday June 28, 2013 @03:10AM (#44130127) Homepage

          That works, but I agree that violating DNC should carry very heavy pernalties. If I put my number out there specificlaly to say "don't call me", then I damn well don't want to be called.

          Much as I dislike phone spammers, let's save the very heavy penalties for the fraud and misrepresentation. HOWEVER... They weren't just being annoying asses (not generally illegal, alas) and violating an agreement they'd signed up to (clearly a civil penalty thing), they were also telling lies about the details of what they were selling (assuming TFS is accurate). That's the sort of thing that sounds like it ought to be investigated on a criminal basis.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            I worked for Mortgage Investors in Atlanta Georgia. The whole selling thing is a scam. You go to people's houses that had listened to the telemarketer's spiel. The telemarketer tells them great things. The sales person/loan officer(me) goes to the home with a presentation booklet and is supposed to read word for word from the presentation booklet as you flip through the pages. Very few read word for word because it is a whole lot of BS to swallow and the sales person knows it.

            Then depending on the state, th

          • by TubeSteak (669689)

            they were also telling lies about the details of what they were selling (assuming TFS is accurate). That's the sort of thing that sounds like it ought to be investigated on a criminal basis.

            Headline: FTC wins monster $7.5 million penalty against "Do Not Call" list violator
            Federal Trade Commission today said it has won a $7.5 million civil penalty against Mortgage Investors Corporation for dialing up 5.4 million numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry

            Article: The settlement, announced on the 10-year anniversary of the DNC Registry, [...]

            The article only uses the word "settlement" once.
            The FTC didn't "win" anything.

        • by smartin (942)

          That works, but I agree that violating DNC should carry very heavy pernalties

          I would consider death to be the minimum penalty.

        • by mlts (1038732) * on Friday June 28, 2013 @09:30AM (#44132111)

          The problem is that the scumbuckets doing the calls have a lot of ways to easily thumb their nose at the FCC:

          1: They use shell companies incorporated offshore. The FCC gets a big verdict, the company goes under, but the next day, another company is doing the same exact thing. All their equipment and workers are held and employed by secondary holding corporations (the details are all kept offshore), so the only thing lost might be a name.

          2: With VoIP, it is trivial to forge numbers on Caller ID and run the shop from offshore.

          3: There are so many DNC loopholes. Business "A" can rent out their mailing list, so business "B" can robocall at will, saying that due to the mailing list, they have a business relationship with the victim^Wcallee.

          It is a very lucrative business because there is no real way for someone to block it and still have a usable phone. On landlines, there is no way to shut it off, as call blocking doesn't work on 800/888/866 numbers. iOS, one can use DND mode and only allow contacts (but it doesn't stop them from filling the voicemail up.) Android has Mr. Number which is a decent app, and uses a database of spammers/robocallers to deny calls with a busy signal.

      • Most of these Do Not Call violators aren't just annoying people at dinner - they're scamming the people who do business with them. The DNC violation should be justification for a much more thorough search through their papers looking for that.

    • You're correct that it should have been a criminal case, but I must take issue with your choice of punishmnent. Clearly, mere prison is inadequate; I recommend execution -- because it's the only way to guarantee they'll never do this again. Otherwise, while they're busy appealling this slap-on-the-wrist fine, they'll be setting up their next company, laundering the assets of their current one, and getting ready to shift operations so that they can pick up where they've left off.
      • Execution is too mild. All we get of them is a news report describing an operating room where a nurse sterilizes the injection site, they're injected, and they stop breathing in a few minutes.

        I'd rather they be tortured to death over the course of a full year. Publicly available on the internet via IPTV and a highlights reel of the most gruesome violations.

        That's the whole point of the death penalty right? To discourage misbehavior? What's better than showing a whole year's worth of literally bleeding-e

      • by DrXym (126579) on Friday June 28, 2013 @04:21AM (#44130413)
        Sew their mouth shut instead. "Tell me Mr Mortgage Investors Corporation director what good is a phone call if you are unable to speak?"
      • by AlecC (512609)

        Just ban them from ever using a telephone of any variety again, or working for a company which uses them. So not allowed to own or use a landline or cellphone, or work for a company connected to the phone system - which is any company, Show them what it is like not to have the system they have abused

    • by Tom (822)

      Surely Mortgage Investors Corporation pulled in far more than $7.5 Million with this fraud.

      Got any evidence for that?

      Usually, damages are calculated so that they take away any profit gained from the action and then some. For example, in patent law cases, the penalty is defined as "up to three times the amount found or assessed".

      • by Anonymous Coward

        On their website they claim to have handled over $43 billion in refinancing, I would expect that they took more than 0.00018% in fees and commissions. I'm not sure how much can be attributed to fraud.

      • by cdrudge (68377)

        For example, in patent law cases, the penalty is defined as "up to three times the amount found or assessed".

        But only in cases where the violation was found to be willful, at least with regards to patents. Samsung I believe wasn't found to be willfully infringing on Apple's patents so didn't have their judgement tripled.

    • by geekmux (1040042)

      Surely Mortgage Investors Corporation pulled in far more than $7.5 Million with this fraud. And they certainly caused more than $7.5 Million in damages to their victims and the rest society by blowing phone spam into the property bubble. What's to stop them or anyone else from doing it again? This should have been a criminal case. Prison for the CEO and board of directors would be more of a deterrent for corporate crimes.

      Yes, I agree 100%, as does most of society. No fine these days should start with an "m" (as in million), which is a pathetic joke. We should be skipping right to what wakes executive criminals up, speaking in their language of "billions" and/or "minimum mandatory sentence".

      And I'm sure they'll get right on that shit...right after they get done prosecuting the "Too Big to Fail" executive team of 2008 that caused the global financial meltdown.

      Oh, and please stop holding your breath...you're turning a horrid

    • by nukenerd (172703)

      Surely Mortgage Investors Corporation pulled in far more than $7.5 Million with this fraud.

      I'm not so sure about that. These are calls to people who asked not to be called, therefore they were more likely to be pissed off than to buy into their crap. I am suprised that even calls made at random result in a net gain for the calling company, because for every customer they gain I guess there is at least one thoroughly pissed off by them.

      There are several companies I would never buy from because I got cold calls from them, and moreover I troll them whenever I can :- go to Hell Everest Double Gl

    • $7.5 million is "huge"?

      Who wrote this article? Dr. Evil?

      They probably spent more than that on the executive Xmas party.

    • by wbr1 (2538558) on Friday June 28, 2013 @07:11AM (#44131079)

      Here is the problem. We have many, many over-zealous prosecutors willing to swing an excessive charge sledgehammer at any Aaron Swarts that comes along. This is easy to do and holds little risk for them.

      However, when it comes to a corporation that has defrauded^H^H^H^H^HSTOLEN millions, who in the corporation is responsible? The CEO? An upper manager? A cabal of board members? In order to find out, the prosecutor has to do work, and run the gauntlet of that corporations legal department filing every stopping and blocking motion possible, making it less worth their time.

    • Surely Mortgage Investors Corporation pulled in far more than $7.5 Million with this fraud. And they certainly caused more than $7.5 Million in damages to their victims and the rest society by blowing phone spam into the property bubble. What's to stop them or anyone else from doing it again? This should have been a criminal case. Prison for the CEO and board of directors would be more of a deterrent for corporate crimes.

      "The Federal Trade Commission today said it has won a $7.5 million civil penalty"

      They're not out to fix anything by putting people in prison. They're out to get money.

    • by webdog314 (960286)

      How about 5 minutes in jail for *each offense*. That works out to about 9.5 years in jail per 1 million spam calls. Seems about right.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 28, 2013 @02:40AM (#44130037)

    Pro-tip: You can stop saying "for allegedly violating" and start saying "for violating" when the guilty verdict is handed down.

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      Pro-tip: You can stop saying "for allegedly violating" and start saying "for violating" when the guilty verdict is handed down.

      What guilty verdict?

      http://www2.ftc.gov/os/caselist/10223084/130627mortgageinvestorsstip.pdf [ftc.gov]

      STIPULATED FINAL ORDER FOR PERMANENT INJUNCTION AND CIVIL PENALTY JUDGMENT
      [...]
      Findings
      [...]

      3. Defendant neither admits nor denies any of the allegations in the Complaint, except as specifically stated in this Order. Only for purposes of this action, Defendant admits the facts necessary to establish jurisdiction.

      Another settlement with no admission of guilt.

  • Are these the jerks that call me twice a week with my "final notice" to be able to lower my mortgage and credit card rates? And won't identify what company they are? I'm on the Do Not Call list. I've ignored them for weeks, just deleting their message. I've tried telling them I don't have a mortgage and don't use credit cards. (It's true.) I've asked them nicely not to call me anymore. I've offered to buy them a dictionary so they'd know what "final" means and wouldn't look like idiots. I've told them no wa

    • by YoungHack (36385)

      I ignored them for a long time. Now I press 1 every time, and start asking questions as if I'm interested but don't have a clue how this can work and who they are. One of of the reps said, "Gee what an idiot," before finally hanging up on me.

      I'm not sure, but the pace of their calls seems to have slowed now that they know I'm just going to tie them up and cost them money.

    • by ebh (116526)

      Question to ask the telemarketer: "Is this really what you wanted to be when you grew up?"

  • by ldobehardcore (1738858) <steven.duboisNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday June 28, 2013 @03:41AM (#44130253)

    $7.5 million isn't huge. It's nothing. Compared to the value of the average multinational corporation (eg Proctor and Gamble, Ford, GM, General Electric, the list goes on), it wouldn't amount to a single day's worth of revenue. Take them for every dime, and then another ten times that amount so the executives will have to sleep in the gutters, and be spat upon by us commoners.

    • by Tom (822)

      You've not worked in a corporation, have you?

      When the going gets tough, the CEO will be the last to feel it. Lots of regular employees, many working in parts of the corporation having nothing to do with the fraudulent action, will feel it first.

      If you want to hit the C-Level, you need to make a criminal case and accuse them directly.

      • Re:Huge penalty? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Rockoon (1252108) on Friday June 28, 2013 @05:22AM (#44130657)
        Thats not exactly true. In lots of cases when the going gets tough the CEO is replaced with another that has a proven track record of digging companies out of the particular tough spot the company finds itself in (at least if the owners/board members know whats good for them.)

        For instance, the largest casino in the United States (Foxwoods) ended up with a serious credit problem several years ago. The presiding CEO (Michael Speller) was forced to resign, giving up his golden parachute, and then they brought back in a former CEO (Bill Sherlock) that had left on very good terms (the employees loved him, and the casino grew to be the biggest in the country under his watch) to serve as a temporary intrim until they landed the current CEO (Scott Butera) who is a specialist in digging corporations out of credit problems (his previous position was saving the Tropicana in Atlantic City from its own credit problems.)

        Note also that Scott Butera is also renowned as a union-friendly CEO, whereas Speller the CEO they forced out had brought moral down so low that the employees unionized under the mismanagement. So the owners saw the problem and picked up the perfect guy for the situation that they found themselves in, a new CEO that fairly quickly made peace with the union and then fairly quickly got the approximately $2 billion in debt restructured so that the casino could at least make the interest payments rather than continue to default on the loans.

        Today the casino has breathing room again, seeking to establish a new property in Massachusetts.
    • by havana9 (101033)

      $7.5 million isn't huge. It's nothing. Compared to the value of the average multinational corporation

      Simples. Crank up the penalties for large corporations, and if a corporation loses a civil case have to pay all the legal expenses for all the parties involved. Join the liability of the corporation to the C-level management, up to twice their yearly income.

  • by nukenerd (172703) on Friday June 28, 2013 @03:54AM (#44130305)
    The FTC having won the case, legally it is now fact surely?
    • There are three "allegedly" in the article. Is it something to do with it being a civil suit?
    • by Main Gauche (881147) on Friday June 28, 2013 @06:20AM (#44130871)

      It was a settlement. No guilt was ever established. This may also explain the low dollar figure everyone else is talking about.

      • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday June 28, 2013 @09:00AM (#44131857) Homepage

        This is a continual pattern by the US federal agencies though: When some company is caught with their hand in the cookie jar, they're routinely settling the case for a relatively small fine that just looks like a really big number but is peanuts compared to the profits from the crime. They should, of course, be nailing the company and its officers to the wall.

        And this phenomenon isn't a Democratic thing or a Republican thing - the Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations all have been routinely doing this.

  • by Dins (2538550) on Friday June 28, 2013 @04:32AM (#44130451)

    It's great to see this and all, but it would be nice if there was an easier way to catch these companies. Most block caller ID, and if they are doing it illegally they're not going to give you their contact info if they sense you are trying to bust them.

    The thing that pisses me off about the do not call list, is the fucking politicians have conveniently exempted political calls. When I say do not call me, I mean everyone - no charities, no politicians - EVERYONE. It gets nuts in the month preceding an election.

  • Now how about the people that were harassed get that money instead of back to the govt coffers. Oh wait, that's not how it works.
  • by pla (258480) on Friday June 28, 2013 @05:43AM (#44130737) Journal

    7.5 million over the 10 years the DNC has existed? Chump change compared to the profits.

    Hell, it surprises me someone hasn't set up a company specifically using the DNC list as their "good leads" list, and budget for paltry fines like this as just part of the cost of doing business.

    Even in this case, it sounds like the "lying through our teeth scamming veterans" had much more to do with the size of the fine than any actual impact on we mere humans who have time and again told companies to fuck right off.

    Dear FTC: We want you to quit playing games and start jailing executives for such blatant violations. We want you to whack the casual, somewhat-repentant (to whatever extent you can call a sociopathic-by-design entity "repentant") offenders with the "only" 7.5M stick. Get the hint?

    • Hell, it surprises me someone hasn't set up a company specifically using the DNC list as their "good leads" list

      Why are people who have opted out of telemarketing calls likely to be "good leads"? I would think they are the least likely people to take you up on whatever you're offering.

      • by Bigbutt (65939)

        It's a confirmed phone number vs a sequential run through a list or the person might be on the list because they're too susceptible to telemarketers. I recall reading a story where door to door salesmen found folks with "No Solicitors" signs were more likely to buy something from them than someone without such a sign.

        [John]

  • I love the arts, and in fact have been to see their excellent plays ... but whoever Huntington Theater Company hire to run their calling campaign (for donations) needs to learn about the law. They've turned this liberal into an avid hater of one of the best theater companies in Boston!

  • Hope the FTC really uses some good internet sleuths and track down these jerks with spoofed caller id numbers who say stuff like, "... if you are not Dimwiti Diot please hang up. By continuing to listen you affirm you are Dimwiti Diot. This is an attempt to collect debt ..." blah blah blah. I am not sure it will stand up in court they have actually served notice.

    They buy bad loans and expired loans at a few cents per dollar, then resell it to dimwits who fall for "make money from home". These chumps are t

  • I get a call EVERY DAY from some automated message telling me "The FBI reports there is a break in every 15 minutes" I have tried asking them nicely to stop calling me, tried cursing at them, tried screaming at them, tried threatening them with bodily harm. They still call me EVERY DAY from a different phone number. I asked them yesterday "You have called me over 100 times and I have not been interested. Did you think maybe if you just called me one....more...time.... that I'd change my mind?" If I knew

    • I've generally asked them whose services they're selling, and strung them along for a little while getting information about them - where they do business from, etc. Be sure to get the name of the person you're talking to, so they think you're friendly. And then I either ask them how I know they're not actually burglars trying to find victims, or tell them to put me on their Do Not Call List, or ask if they'd like the FTC's $50,000 reward for violations of the Do Not Call list. (It was actually for recom

  • Unwanted phone calls (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Friday June 28, 2013 @07:53AM (#44131299)
    I have a simple idea for a pretty solid system to deal with all unwanted calls. The idea is that you opt into this system. Then when you receive a call that you don't want you would dial *55 or something. You would never receive a call from that number again but more importantly once some small number of people had *55'd a number nobody who had opted in would receive a call from that number.

    This way anybody who makes annoying phone calls would be blacklisted. This would include politicians, survey companies, charities, sales people, even annoying girlfriends. I would trust that anyone who annoys even a small handful of people is someone I don't want phoning me. Charities, politicians, and whatnot would be all indignant about this but if they regularly got *55'd then maybe they should rethink their position in this world.

    The key here is no exceptions. I don't want some group self righteously explaining why they should be able to annoy me. Basically I don't want to ever receive a phone call from someone who I don't personally know.
    • by EvilSS (557649)
      That would be a great idea if these jackholes didn't use caller ID spoofing to rotate the numbers they call from.
    • by webdog314 (960286)

      Or, if you want to instantly shut down your competitor/political candidate, just get a bunch of your staff to *55 them. Boom.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Now, how do we make it so that political campaigns and polls are also not permitted to call numbers on the DNC list??? I LOVE how the lawmakers exempted themselves from the law and now are the worst abusers of all.

  • I had to invest in a selective call-blocking phone last year because of this crap. So when does the FTC plan on giving that money to the people who were actually harmed by these bastards? It's gotten so bad that I've filled all 50 memory locations on the phone.

    I'm also baffled by the pathetic anti-robodialer contest winners. They all depend on caller ID which only works about half the time.

    "DO NOT HANG UP!!..." EFF YOU!! YOU RAT BASTARD!!

  • by poofmeisterp (650750) on Friday June 28, 2013 @09:47AM (#44132283) Journal

    ...and misstated the terms of available loan products during telemarketing calls.

    And now we know what the suit really brought in the big bucks for.

    This isn't about DNC; it's about presenting misleading information.

    I'm waiting for the day that some company really gets busted and taken out of business on DNC violations alone!

  • Like everyone else on the Do Not Call list, I have been supremely irritated by robo-calls and cold solicitations on my phone, usually at dinnertime and often from an organization that has called several times within a single week. When I investigated how to file a complaint against these vermin, I discovered that it was very difficult. It was difficult to discover whom to contact and after that it was a fairly involved process to actually file a complaint. I decided it was easier to just not answer the p

  • They need to aim their sights at the people who call about your "free" Google and 411 listings (neither of whom are either Google or the phone company).

When all else fails, read the instructions.

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