Wednesday, June 19, 2019


Robocalls wreak havoc at hospitals and put patients' lives in danger: report
Excerpt: The hospital, which is a center for biomedical research and the main teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine, received more than 4,500 robocalls in a two-hour period the morning of April 30, 2018, according to The Washington Post. The messages featured a voice speaking in Mandarin and threatened deportation if someone did not provide certain personal information. The scourge of robocalls is well documented. Last year, global spam calls grew by 325 percent to at least 85 billion, according to a report from Hiya. (This has been my #1 pet peeve for the past several years. I likely average between 4 and 6 calls daily between my home phone and cell phone. Virtually all of them are spoofing a local number. Some even leave messages, one of which sounded like Chinese. Most of the rest come through with a prefix of “V”, indicating it is a voice call from outside the USA via the internet.There is virtually no currently enforceable way to stop or prohibit these calls. Most of the problem is that it costs the caller about one tenth of a cent to place the call. The only really effective way to stop these harassing calls is to find a way to raise the price of calling to an amount that would be unacceptable to the callers, perhaps a quarter dollar ($0.25) per call. Even a nickel ($0.05) would likely discourage a lot of them. The phone companies would be thrilled with the new revenue stream and would likely support such a system if they get to keep, say, 40% of the revenue generated; the balance can be credited against our phone bills. If we get to charge the callers by the minute, it would even provide us consumers with an incentive to answer the calls and talk as long as possible. Note that it’s important that there be no exceptions for political or charity calls, half of which I suspect are scams, anyway. Ron P. I never answer Robo calls. ~Bob)

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