•   almost 8 years ago

Lots of discussion and submissions BUT no solution

Most, if not all, of the submissions do not address all of the requirements. Those that use block lists fail sqqince the robocallers can easily change their spoofed caller ID with every call. Those that only accept calls from white lists fail since they have no method to accept emergency calls from unknown phone numbers. Those that require the caller to answer a challenge question fail since they block emergency reverse 911 calls.

The real solution requires the telcos to modify their infrastructure to enable the accurate identification of the offenders and follow this with strict enforcement of existing do not call laws where the offenders are severly punished and pay for their crimes.

Kudos to the FTC for finally tracking down and prosecuting "Rachel from Cardholder Services". These calls have finally stopped.

  • 7 comments

  •   •   almost 8 years ago

    Steven, You hit upon the only real solution to this problen but it doesn't have anything to do with "telcos modifying their infrastructure". The answer lies with the FTC "tracking down and prosecuting". Like you said, "kudos to the FTC for getting everybodys girl, Rachel from Cardholder Services. The FTC has proven that with enough evidence they are capable of apprehending and prosecuting these Robo-bums. These calls from Rachel have finally stopped. Any solution that doesn't lead to the apprehension of these criminals is (in my opinion), nothing more than a band-aid. It doesn't provide a long lasting cure for the problem. A solution that provides meaningful evidence to the authorities is necessary so they can more easily bring Rachel and her friends to justice. One by one, these illegal telemarketers and scammers have to be caught and punished so that it becomes very unprofitable to continue "business as usual". Advanced technology solutions will very likely be met with even more advanced technology to get around the solution. It is like a never ending chess game, we move, they counter move until we move again, etc. Only when their king is caught, can we say "CHECK MATE".

  •   •   almost 8 years ago

    Please be aware that not all the submissions have been approved for release yet...something like a 100+ have been released just in the last week with more to come.

    Also, mine is still pending which I think does the trick...:)

    Your notion that the only 'real' solution is to force the telcos to do X, Y, or Z is not very likely. The telcos make far too much money selling robo call hardware and leasing phone lines to cut that business out. They are basically Arms dealers who sell to both sides of the conflict. The robocaller gets a new auto-dialer...we get to pay every month to have our phone # NOT listed...they add more lines...we get to pay every month for some 'privacy manager'...and so on...and so on.

    The solution is like every real solution...put the power into the hands of the consumer...make it so they don't have to wait or hope for politicians to get it done or for phone companies to get some morals.

    The supposed prosecution method is just an exercise in stupidity. Lets spend more tax money to have a bigger government which will spend years trying to track down these scammers and maybe catch a small percentage. No thanks.
    That method NEVER works in the long run and any half way decent History book can prove that too you.

  •   •   almost 8 years ago

    We are all just anxiously waiting to see your solution that..." does the trick.....)" However,in the meantime I think I'll let the authorities determine if "prosecution is just an exercise in stupidity"as you claim.( By the way,,,,getting many calls from Rachel lately?) Could you quote which history book will "prove that "too" me. (I believe it should be "to" me, but grammer is another subject) I will be happy to read it.

  •   •   almost 8 years ago

    Steven B, this is exactly why I wondered how solutions are being judged. I believe there should be some transparency in the judging process, something like X amount of solutions met the criteria and is selected for further review. There must be a process in place to show progress else I think this is nothing more than a way to gather free ideas. After all, if you read the rules, the FTC does not have to pick a winner. Given the fact there are already 4 major developments out there to combat robocalls, all which has its own drawbacks, there's unlikely a solution submitted that will pass all criteria.

    One other thing, you can't judge a solution just by seeing the public comments about it, you must rely documents submitted by the submittors, which is private. Since the submission period has expired, and I'll give away some hints as to how my solution may pass 90% of the criteria. While each solution will have its own drawbacks, my solution tries to use existing Caller ID technology to not only combat robocalls but to make Caller ID more authentic. By adding a few additional digits to the Caller ID, which are private and is transparent to the user, my solution not only blocks unwanted calls but also authenticates the Caller ID. Some may argue it does not use existing technology and I must admit, I'm not fully aware of how the Caller ID is stored on the switches but 1 thing I know for certain is that my phone used to be 7 digits and it wasn't hard for them to upgrade to 10 digits. My solution is similar to the Public/Private key solution except it doesn't call for upgrades to existing hardware to store the 2 keys separately, it only needs something like the star symbol to separate the keys.

  •   •   almost 8 years ago

    My company, Prologue came up with a simple, clever solution that works on any phone and requires nothing from the subscribers and next to nothing from callers. We make all legal callers register all there phone lines with the FTC. Then when a legal permitted caller calls anyone subscribed to our service they will be instantly recognized and the call will go through. If the line is not recognized the caller must prove that they are not an autodialer by hitting a random key on their phone after being prompted. These "live" callers are then automatically put through to the subscriber. This service we call StopRoboCallsTM makes it impossible for any unget through and as it is adopted gradually put the illegal robocallers out of business without costing any money for law enforcement.

    We have a patent covering the RegistryTM portion of our invention. It is key to making it work and it was issued in 2006. The patent allows us to set up a Registry of Callers and use any method we like to authenticate them. StopRoboCallsTM is a simple use of it in the long run we will fundamentally change the way people use the phone by being able to id the caller and share his information. Most importantly, by being able to protect children from predators and bullies by letting parents have control over who can call them and when. It's real caller identification and has myriad uses.

    All we need to do is partner with the carriers and anyone who subscribes to our service says good bye to unwanted robocalls and hello to a more peaceful life. Our solution does not seem to be live on the FTC site, but if you go to youtube and search for Prologue StopRoboCalls Video you will find it.

  •   •   almost 8 years ago

    R. Lee B:

    --I never get calls from Rachel or any other robocaller...I have been using my solution for over 10+ years. Besides, Rachel may be the most notorious but she is just a small part of the problem.

    --Pick any History book you want...open to the "War on ____" (you fill in the blank) chapter and see how it ends. Never mind...I will spoil the ending...it is always a failure.

    --A grammar/misspelling dig?...really?

  •   •   almost 8 years ago

    A technological solution is best. Starve the enemy.

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