Thursday, December 28, 2006

Thieves exploit phone system for the deaf

About 22 million calls are expected to be placed this way this year, at a cost of $92.5 million. The IP Relay system is funded by little-noticed charges on our monthly phone bills, charges described in terms like "Disability Access Fee" or "Carrier Cost Recovery Fee."

But an NBC News investigation shows that this well-meaning service may now be helping the criminal community more than the deaf community because of serious flaws in the relay system.

And the U.S. government knows all about it. Records obtained by NBC News under the Freedom of Information Act document private meetings in Washington between representatives of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and the IP Relay companies that profit from the calls. Read more ...

Maybe the FCC should spend less time prosecuting nudity and coarse language and go after the real threat to its citizens posed by this IP Relay scam. Hell No! The fundies and their friends in the FCC remain fixated on their crusade against pornography. These Christianists are costing us more than just our liberties as private citizens, now they’re jeopardizing our personal finances. Just ask anyone that had to fight unauthorized credit card charges.

They say overseas thieves use stolen credit cards and the voices of relay operators to run up large orders from unsuspecting U.S. merchants who may let their guard down because they think they're helping a deaf person.

How much money do they think they helped steal from American businesses?

"Multi-millions," says Audia, "multi-millions." (Lisa Myers, NBC News)


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