Research tells us that scam telephone calls increased from 3.7 percent of total calls in 2017 to 29 percent in 2018. It is forecast that the number will strike 50 percent by the end of 2019. We were spammed with over 30 billion robo calls in 2017 costing the consumer roughly $350 million.
Moreover, statics indicate in 2017 alone the FTC received approximately 375,000 complaints. Spammers call with absolutely no fear of our government – the government has not and presumably will not take ownership of the problem.
We can send men to the moon, position a rover on a planet, spend enormous man hours debating the merits of a southern border wall, but our government is helpless in bringing to an end this unreasonable, unwelcomed intrusion upon the privacy of its citizens. Telemarketers shift the cost of their operation to us by forcing consumers to use their telephone airtime to receive annoying advertisement.
Our most wide-ranging right is the right to be let alone. Today’s challenge to our elected officials is to stop the petty politics, kick out the lobbyist and for once do something positive for your constituents. Execute and bring to a halt this, ongoing without permission, incursion of privacy. We are witnessing an assaulting out of control robo call epidemic which cries out for legislative curative action.
Our government has a basic obligation to protect the right of its citizens from every unjustifiable robo call intrusion of privacy. Let’s apply the pressure.
* * *
About a month ago, I placed an order for something online through Walmart. Maybe it was just a coincidence but the next morning at about 6 a.m. I received a very real looking Walmart "reward" for being such a good customer. I'd get a $1,000 gift card if I just filled out a quick survey. "Heck yeah, man!" I thought, still asleep. "New rubber for the truck!" Right? It said so, right there underneath the Walmart logo! Right?
I have described myself as stupid many times before and some folks have agreed with me but this one takes the cake. I answered six or seven benign questions and then they wanted me to verify my telephone number. Hmmm. How did Wally send me a text if they didn't already know my phone number? Oh well, for $1,000 I'll verify. Then, I can't remember which other number they wanted but it was my social or my bank account number or something like that and I knew I'd been had.
About two hours later, I learned just how really had I was. Honestly, I got a robo, telemarketing or scam call every 10 or 15 minutes. Four to six calls per hour. It was a serious pain at first but easy because they used numbers from DC or Los Angeles. Then, they got wise and started using 615 and 423 numbers. Then, after 423, they started using the first three land and cell digits common to this area! Oh my God! Every 10 or 15 minutes!
Now I have to be patient with a screening app that blocks these ridiculous intrusions. I only get eight or 10 bogus calls a day now. Regardless, between the numbers I blocked and the ones Hiya now blocks, I have several hundred different blocked numbers! How is that anywhere close to okay or legal?
So, Mr. Johnny Jones, I am with you in solid lock step. I have a Remington Model 870 pump that I bought from Walmart that I would love to unload into the machine that cranks these calls out. As for the owner of the machine, I don't want to kill anybody but I would seriously delight in watching the boy take an acid bath.
Something's gotta give!