Robocalls reached peak in October. The Conference is now in operation.


“I am constantly going down,” he said.

So there are many others around the country: A suspicious American campaign has impacted on the estimated 288 million robbers taking health insurance in October, according to the YouMail smartphone call-blocking app, adding to 5.7 billion robots carried out nationwide last month. With experts, the bargain shows the country's ongoing struggle – and the need for new legal tools – to prevent digital scourge in a clear scene.

There are few things that Americans agree in discs, such as robocalls, mass outreach tactic that can be many forms – from legitimate reminders to paying bills to scams that imitate the number of people taking the phone.

But the spike in robocalls associated with health insurance, which occurred at the same time as the annual fall period when people choose their cover, highlights the complexities. While the calls may be offering genuinely legitimate services, they appear to have come from one promoter who went through a series of names, such as “Health Health” and “Whitestone Health,” according to people who tracking the campaign, delivering a pre-recorded field using the same man.

Boeger and others blocked the calls that they never told them to find, which added the possibility of expressing that the law violates federal calls.

To stop such seafarers, telecommunications giants such as AT&T and Verizon have started this year to put in place anti-robotic technology that can help people see fake numbers in real time. Regulators in Washington have also accelerated their efforts: Lawmakers on Capitol Hill intend to make disclosures as early as this week on a new bipartite bill that will enable law enforcement to be more severe. the worst offenders, according to a copy received by The Washington Post.

But these long-term improvements can not be fast enough, experts say, pointing out that romanticists have become more sophisticated – and pervasive – even in the light of increased vigilance by government and industry.

“They are not going away if we are not going over the bill,” said Mr Frank Pallone Jr (D-N.J.), One of the authors of the new legislation.

The act of automated dialing is not illegal. But the federal law of decades usually requires the age of those who give pre-recorded messages to consumers to first obtain the consent of callers. Callers must give people the opportunity to withdraw this consent at a later date.

Of course, Scammers do not tend to follow the rules or abide by other restrictions, such as the federal “Don't Call” list, which is designed to protect people from receiving unwanted telemarketing messages. And a number of criminals continued to devise new ways of outsourcing telecoms companies, adding to the pressure on robots put to consumers last month.

“As more and more people find out how easy it is,” said Alex Quilici, chief executive of YouMail, “you have a bigger and bigger problem.” T

But it was a major challenge for both agencies overseeing the issue – the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission to find the biggest challenge of finding and punishing the worst robotic offenders. The agencies have received recorded fines against callers without permission using false numbers, but sometimes they do not collect these penalties, according to law makers, legal experts and public reports.

Such probes are quite difficult to make in the first place, and it is never easy to turn clippers over complex telephone networks – and beyond country boundaries. Building on the headaches of the agencies, federal officials are required to issue warning hours to the promoters of the calls before they can even impose fines under government anti-robotic law, known as the Consumer Consumer Protection Act.

House ladders and Senators interrupted these escape routes in similar legislative proposals which were introduced and passed by all rooms earlier this year. In a city separated from a partisan division, the Democrats and Republicans succeeded in finding a rare unity about robocalls, and announced that they had reached a compromise on a bill last Friday which would bring more. time for the FCC and the FTC to conduct investigations to issue penalties, according to a draft received earlier this month. He could put the bill on the right track before the end of the year.

The bill is an important step “in an attempt to stop robocalls by removing spots calls where cheats are hiding their true identity,” said Old Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Referring the Seanad version of the project written by Seán John Thune (RS.D.). Pallone and Rep Greg Walden (R-Ore.) Are supporting the bill of the house.

Robots tend to have spikes – like the one observed in YouMail last month – accompanied by large national moments, such as the April annual filing tax deadline or open healthcare registration. This year, at least six states have warned people about health care robberies, fearing that they will threaten consumers who may have fraud or insurance covering much less than they were expecting. Likewise, Robocalls has followed other aspects of the health care system, which has affected hospitals, doctors and patients, received The Post.

“The amount of robocalls is alarming,” wrote Dean L. Cameron, director of the Idaho Insurance Department, in a public notice in May, adding that residents should “always be wary of any free and comprehensive health insurance commitments. sold the phone. "

Insurance experts, telecommunications executives and federal regulators said that they could not determine whether it appears that the recent call barrage from Health Health, Whitestone Health or other designated groups such as illegal or give them poor coverage. But experts at two call blocking applications, YouMail and Nomorobo, said that the evidence suggests that the calls are linked – and that some of the measures they took are very sensitive that something suspicious or illegal may be taking place.

In October, YouMail discovered that a single promoter might have contributed about 288 million robots under health insurance. The company produces its height by measuring the number of switches taken by users of the apps, and then using it for example to calculate a national figure. YouMail then shared the information with USTelecom, an industry trade group that tries to track such campaigns to stop them. As USTelecom provided information to the FCC about subpoena, an official at the organization said.

Likewise, Aaron Foss, founder of Nomorobo, noticed something that has analyzed the messages cited by his users and his own internal systems. His business helps to monitor robot campaigns with what he calls “honeypot” – phone numbers that he owns but not used by real people. The numbers associated with the health insurance campaign regularly called his sting operation, he said, a signal that might be breaking federal rules.

“I can guarantee that no one has been given explicit written permission to call them,” said Foss, stating that consent in this case is required in federal law. “If companies are calling into our honey pot, this is usually a bad sign.”

While the people interviewed for this report said that they had not consented to being called, it is not clear whether they agreed without delay that they received the calls by signing terms of service or other means.

Some of the messages sent people to the same number 888 for more information about insurance. The people said the call returned that a pre-recorded voice welcomed basic questions about their age eligibility for age and coverage, before switching to live agents who did not offer their names. The efforts of Post managers to reach were unsuccessful: Agents repeatedly acted as soon as a reporter identified himself.

USTelecom, the industrial trade group, said that it is aware of who they think calls the calls but refused to identify them or link them to An Post, citing many concerns, including privacy. “In relation to this health care program, we were responsible for requests from the government,” said Patrick Halley, Senior Vice President on Advocacy and Regulatory Affairs.

FCC and the FTC refused to comment on this report.

When federal officials and telecommunications experts left scoping a solution, some people have tried to pay their own private war against spam calls. In Houston, Boeger started calling back after one week which was very bad in November, “foul” that calls spam insurance calls him sometimes five times a day at least.

In doing so, however, some organizations are trapped in the fire of robocall matches. In Franklin, Tenn., A local health team called Whitestone Healthcare, shows prominently on his website that it is not Whitestone Health – the group that seems to be calling consumers undoubtedly. Mark Hampton, director of business development, estimates that 3,000 Healthcare people have received 3,000 calls in just three weeks from people who have mistakenly received their company through Google's search.

Whitestone Healthcare said he reached the general solicitor in Tennessee, who said she had no jurisdiction, as well as the FCC and FTC office. According to Hampton, a federal agency said, “We want to see them put into practice that robotting is illegal.”

Some of the critics of federal watch companies asked to be even tougher on both Robocallers and telecommunications carriers. The dilemma bill starts, for example, a clock on the country's telephone providers, which requires them to put in place technology that will help them to send out scammers who take phone numbers similar to those they want to call, known as spoofing. to it. But some critics hoped that the Congress would go further, putting pressure on a wide round of the telecommunications industry to adopt those standards on a stricter deadline.

However, supporters say that the forthcoming federal bill has a good start, saying that “FCC will ultimately deliver more fruit,” according to Jim Tyrrell, senior marketing director of products at Transaction Network Services. which helps telecommunications companies.

Meanwhile, the robots continue.

Daniel Schuman said that he gets 10 to 20 spam calls on a typical day. This has been exacerbated since October, as open enrollment and the parks that were not needed for suspicious health insurance, started at a low cost starting to roll-in.

Schuman said he doesn't want to buy insurance in the private market. And the Washington-based policy director, Demand Progress, who works on high-tech and telecommunications issues, prefers to pass on his personal information – and sign consent – to a random person or website. But he said he still gets the calls, which he tried to block and reported to FCC without much effect.

“He is destroying the ability to get phone calls and make them,” he said.


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