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Communications Spam

'This Is Your Second and Final Notice' Robocallers Revealed 235

Posted by Soulskill
from the hello-sir-madam dept.
nbauman writes "A New York Times consumer columnist tracked down the people who run a 'This is your second and final notice" robocall operation. The calls came from Account Management Assistance, which promises to negotiate lower credit card rates with banks. One woman paid them $1,000, and all they did was give her a limited-time zero-percent credit card that she could have gotten herself. AMA has a post office box in Orlando, Florida. The Better Business Bureau has a page for Your Financial Ladder, which does business as Account Management Assistance, and as Economic Progress. According to a Florida incorporation filing, Economic Progress is operated by Brenda Helfenstine, with her husband Tony. The Arkansas attorney general has sued Your Financial Ladder for violating the Telemarketing Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services investigated Your Financial Ladder, but the investigator went to 1760 Sundance Drive, St. Cloud, which turned out to be a residence, and gave up. The Times notes that you can type their phone number (855-462-3833) into http://800notes.com/ and get lots of reports on them."
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'This Is Your Second and Final Notice' Robocallers Revealed

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  • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Sunday February 24, 2013 @04:51PM (#42997179)

    1760 Sundance Drive
    St. Cloud, Florida 32771

    http://goo.gl/maps/9P4BX [goo.gl]

  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Sunday February 24, 2013 @05:19PM (#42997369) Homepage

    The Do Not Call list works very well for what it was intended to do. It stops legal calls from businesses you have no association with. Do you remember the "would you like to change long distance providers" calls? What if Dish Network could call you every week to ask you if you wanted to switch off cable?

    The problem is that the DNC list does *nothing* to stop the following groups:

    • Political organizations - law doesn't apply
    • Charity solicitation - law doesn't apply
    • Surveys - law doesn't apply
    • Scams - they're already breaking the law

    Congress chose to allow the first 3 for their own benefit, and no law can stop the fourth, only really tough enforcement and holding phone companies accountable.

  • Re:Follow the wires (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 24, 2013 @05:56PM (#42997633)

    But the telco has to know where they are sending these calls. Either a landline, digital service or IP address. Either give it up to the authorities or become a co-defendant in the fraud case.

    The telcos make a killing with these kinds of customers, and wont do anything more than their corporate lawyer says they absolutely have to do not to be held accountable.

    And, if your telco (the one of the customer that gets called) sees the number 202-456-1111 coming in over an interconnection link, they simply cannot tell you where exactly the caller came from (assuming the white house does not make Robocalls), so basically they have to backtrace the whole chain, from interconnection to interconnection, and if just one telco in the chain does not cooperate or is outside the US, you're out of luck.

    The last resort would be ALL provider to have search for an OUTGOING call to the customers number to find the real caller. This is REAL work, because you are looking for a needle (the call) in a haystack, with tousands of haystacks (the telcos). And thats assuming, the call even originates inside the US.

    You download one stinkin' Lady Gaga song and they can find you. Why not now?

    Because a complete, working TCP connection is not spoofable. If you want the packet with the Lady Gaga song to reach you, you have to use your real IP adress. With the phone system, the callerid is worth about the same as a sender emailadress...

  • Blacklists work (Score:5, Informative)

    by zwede (1478355) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @06:03PM (#42997679)
    On Android: Create a contact (I call it "Spam"). Click settings->More and add to reject list. Whenever you get a spam call, select "update existing contact", select "Spam" and no more calls from that number. For a home phone, use a VOIP provider (I use and can recommend Galaxy Voice). They should have a web page that lets you add numbers to a blacklist. Also select the "anonymous call rejection" feature which will block all calls where the caller id has been intentionally blocked. By doing the above it is very rare for me to receive a spam call.
  • by msauve (701917) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @07:43PM (#42998447)
    You're assuming they have some sort of internal "do not call" list. They don't.
  • by pwizard2 (920421) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @08:33PM (#42998735)

    That, and the Fair Debt Collections Act are unenforceable in the days of IP telephony.

    Partially true. The FDCPA still has teeth but there are far better ways to wield it than talk to those assholes on the phone. If they start calling over unsecured credit card debt, ignore the calls but wait for them to send something in the mail (it will probably happen really soon once they start calling). What you need to do next is send a certified cease-and-desist letter to their physical brick-and-mortar office. Many of these fuckers are sneaky and work out of various PO boxes around the country but they always have a real office somewhere; spending a bit of time on Google usually helps you find it.

    Your c/d letter should make several claims: disavow all responsibility for the debt; Demand an immediate cessation of all phone and written correspondence; if they are out of state demand to see their proof of license (and license number) to operate in [your home state here]; and threaten to report them to your state attorney general if they ever contact you again without providing the required license info. If they do it again, make good on your threat! Don't threaten to report them to the better business bureau---it's an empty threat because for all its posturing the BBB can't do shit. On the other hand, having to deal with an AG investigation usually makes collectors piss themselves. You need to understand that these are real dickless cowards. If you make it clear you intend to fight they will probably leave you alone since there are lots of other people they can shake down instead (they buy these delinquent accounts in bulk for pennies on the dollar and then try to collect).

    If they actually sue you, it's time to break out the big guns: You need to file a Sworn Denial on Account in the jurisdiction that is handling your case. This the the equivilent of a not guilty plea; you officially deny the debt and require the plaintiff to furnish proof. Never take any settlement offers or deals; they will still try to fuck you with those and the burden of proof is always on them. The important thing to remember is that they are fucked unless they can produce the original signed contract in court since that is the only way to prove that you owe a debt.

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