FTC: Bring Me The Head Of Rachel From Card Services!

10.19.12 6 years ago 5 Comments

If you have a cell phone, you’ve probably gotten a robocall from “Rachel” of “Card Services.” As you read this site, you are devastatingly intelligent and know that this is a scam, especially since the Federal Trade Commission put a bullet in commercial robocalls three years ago. Sorry, political robocalls are still allowed.

Anyway, despite it now being a federal offense, this hasn’t stopped phone spammers. Hell, they’re criminals. What’s another six months on their already lenient sentence?

Granted, there’s nothing more fun than getting one of these calls and asking the human on the other end of the line, who is almost always an inarticulate ape, to explain the financial workings of this in detail. But the Federal Trade Commission is sick of robocalls, and is calling on hackers to find a way to kill them for good.

The problem is that scammers have figured out how to use VoIP and spoofing to avoid giving out any sort of identifying information. So the FTC is looking for a more proactive solution.

The bounty was announced at a government conference, awesomely called Robocalls: All The Rage. What the FTC is looking for is a tool that simply shuts robocalls the eff down:

Robocall crackdown solutions will be evaluated and scored in three basic areas. The first area, worth half the score, is how well it works: proof of its effectiveness, extensibility to different kinds of phones (mobile, wired landlines, and so on), and how easily it might be circumvented by telemarketers once it’s rolled out. The second area, worth a quarter of the score, is how easy the solution would be to implement and use for consumers. The third area, also worth a quarter of the score, evaluates the idea based on how practical it is to deploy, with a high value placed on submissions that can be implemented immediately even if they are small-scale.

We recommend an air horn.

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