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Commentary & Opinion

David Nightingale: Telemarketers

Telemarketers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, sometimes even resorting to threats. Phrases like sheriff’s department, social security, warranty expiration, etc. are commonly used – in their attempts to get you to yield some personal information. Whether they are in Bangladesh or Timbuktu, they have lists of names and addresses and ages, because long ago the globe yielded most of its privacy to the internet.

Excerpts: (off recording machine)

1.  re: Officer Williams from the Social Security Administration.

2.  re: Vehicle warranty expiration.

3.  re: Social Security number expiration.

4.  re: hijacking of computer, Microsoft.

The above recordings give some idea of the inundations – and the calls are being aimed particularly at seniors.

Long ago there was a movement towards controlling this plague, and at the end of 2019 the TRACED Act [Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act] was signed into law. It is being implemented in stages throughout 2020, and it’s now possible for the FCC to levy fines of up to $10,000 to U.S. robo-telemarketers who defy it.

Unfortunately, it’s not yet effective at my phone!

David Nightingale is an Emeritus Professor of Physics at SUNY, New Paltz, where he taught for 31 years.

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.

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