So you know I’ve been dealing with telephone solicitors and spamcallers and scammers of late. And while I’m still having some fun recording them and mocking them (I’ve gotten a few vacation scams and credit card reduction scams of late, both of which want my credit card before they can offer me those great deals), I decided to be proactive on another front.
I needed to bring in a Schumer to this adventure.
Yep. This is important, and if I don’t have a powerful force with plenty of support behind me, I won’t get anywhere fast. Because trust me, dealing with these spamclowns is a trainwreck, something you never want to get inside.
And with that, I sent an e-mail off to …
Senator Chuck Schumer.
Yeah, I could have contacted his cousin Amy, but I think this is more in Senator Chuck’s wheelhouse.
Yesterday, I received an e-mail from the Senator – or, at least, the Senator’s office.
Reprinting it here verbatim.
Dear Mr. Miller:Thank you for contacting me regarding continued violations of the Do Not Call Registry. I understand your concerns and know firsthand just how incredibly intrusive these calls can be.Under current law, spammers and telemarketers have to pay only minor fines for violating federal telemarking law, which are miniscule in comparison to financial gains made by telemarketers through such calls. Existing laws, including the federal Do Not Call list are great tools to protect consumers, but only if they have real teeth that will stop illegal calls in their tracks. In 1991, Congress passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), with a very clear goal: whether at home or on their mobile phones, consumers should not be subject to intrusive and unsolicited calls from telemarketers. While the TCPA is explicit that solicitors must honor the National Do Not Call Registry, penalties have seemingly become increasingly outdated in the years since its enactment.Last year, amid skyrocketing robocall complaints across New York, I introduced the Quell Unnecessary, Intentional, and Encroaching Telephone Calls (QUIET) Act, which would dramatically raise fines and impose harsher punishments on telemarketing companies that violate current federal laws on telemarketing calls. The QUIET Act would stiffen both financial and legal penalties when federal law is violated and would provide a much greater disincentive to skirt do-not-call laws. As we begin the 114th Congress, I look forward to continuing to push for this important legislation, while working with my colleagues to protect the TCPA. Amazingly, various industries have continued to pursue changes to weaken the TCPA. In response to these efforts, on January 28th, 2015, I authored a letter along with Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts and 11 other Senators to the Federal Communications Commission voicing our strong concerns with any changes to the TCPA that would weaken federal Do Not Call regulations. Should the FCC not heed our concerns, I stand ready to take any and all appropriate actions to defend New Yorkers from such intrusive calls.Again, thank you for contacting me regarding this important issue. Please feel free to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance on this or any other matter.Sincerely,Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
Well now. At least the Senator was kind enough to respond.
But here’s my question. Is it enough? These trolls hide behind spoofed Caller ID numbers, they use VoIP conduits to mask their locations, they outsource their activities to places the average person couldn’t find on a map, and they won’t stop until they’ve gotten your credit card number or your bank account password or until they’ve driven you completely bat guano crazy.
Personally, I hope they do get some sort of punishment. I hope that someone finds a way to either shut them down or make them pay for their intrusions. Whether it’s through legislation or telecommunications controls or something…
But, I guess, for now, I’m just going to have to treat these callers as the equivalent of the person who trespassed onto a poorly maintained dog park.
Because if you don’t watch where you step…
You might find out why my dog was nicknamed Mr. Poopers. And you’ll be wiping your shoes all the way to the end of the phonecall.