[thechat] Spam Phone Calls

deke web at master.gen.in.us
Sat Nov 16 18:45:00 CST 2002

On 17 Nov 2002 at 0:25, Syed Zeeshan Haider posted a message which
> Do these Spam Phone Calls really exist in your country
> (specially USA)?


> If they do then: Are the answering machines only remedy
> of such calls?


If people making such calls don't block caller ID, and they call
someone like me, they find that computers are calling them once a
minute, all day long. If the lines are constantly busy with incoming
calls, they can't make outgoing calls. So they block caller ID.

But Verizon has a service that intercepts calls with no caller ID
information. The caller is asked to identify himself by the computer. I
get a funny ring, and I can press 1 to connect, 2 to let the call go
through to voicemail, or 3 to play a "don't call again" message.

Are there any laws to prevent such calls?

Yes. If someone calls you and they don't have a pre-existing business
relationship, you can ask them for a written copy of their do-not-call
policy, and they *have* to send it to you (but usually, they hang up
before you can ask), and you can ask them to put you on their do-not-
call list (and if they continue to call after that, you can sue them
for $500.)

Pennsylvania just set up a central do-not-call list, and if you put
yourself on that list, they aren't allowed to call you in the first
place. There are exceptions. Politicians are allowed to call you,
asking for votes and money, for instance. You *knew* that would be one
of the exceptions, didn't you?

99% of lawyers give the other 1% a bad name

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