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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

NBC REPORT: MOST IP RELAY CALLS ARE SCAMS


Thought this article was interesting - I got it from my weekly subscription of Deaf Weekly.  Makes me wonder what the 85 to 90% of scams were about and who they contact.

"The IP Relay system may help criminals more than the deaf community, reported MSNBC last week. About 22 million calls are placed through IP Relay each year at a cost of $92.5 million, but one former operator, Cathy Audia, said about 85 to 90 percent of calls she handled were scams. "Very rarely did we get an actually hearing-impaired call," she said. Another former operator, Sheila Satterwhite, said, "I felt like a criminal every day I left work." A memo obtained by NBC showed an IP Relay director warning operators not to discuss the issue publicly. "Please do not risk your jobs and your own integrity," wrote the director."

5 comments:

Buzzair said...

wow, that's bullshit. If IP relay operators knows they are scams, they should be able to do something about it.

Xff said...

I find that hard to believe. A lot of us do use the relay service and as quoted "85 to 90 percent of calls she handled were scams"... That's too hard to believe, the mangement would do something about it right away because they do not want to lose the fund from FCC if they find out that its being used to place scam calls.

I use the relay service at least once everyday, I bet you people use it at least once a day or every other day.

oneninefive said...

Yeah, agree with you guys. My first reaction was, "how the hell can this be happening?"

But you know, spammers don't give a fack who they are spamming, thus scammers don't give a fack too, so anything is possible.

Management would do something, but the hard thing is they want to ensure the privacy of Deaf customers and by law they cannot record conversations.

I did think they should set up some kind of disability pin code so only actual Deaf people could register and have access to relay services.

But that would mean revealing who you are and that could become bureaucratic. The costs vs benefits would have to show that elimination of the 85 to 90 percent of abuse.

It also would need to justify the cost of a bureaucratic system where Deaf people register to prove that they qualify for relay service (that would mean the end for Deaf-Canadians' access to relay services).

Buzzair said...

yea, makes sense about the privacy thing. If they setup a pin thing, you can bet the scammers will find it soon enough too.

bg0ur3 said...

Yeah, i was thinking of that... in Sweden they have their own ip-relay system ( www.texttelefoni.se ) ... and the access to the service is restricted to those people who has been registered to the government with proof of having deafness or something. Then the users gets their user name and password in their mail and they can use the system.

I prefer that system at least we will know that the technology is being used appropriately. USA should know better to do something like that. but then again, Canada should know better and set up any ip-relay program!

:)

Brandon