Letters

Block Robocalls

Jun 07, 2017

To the Editor:

An invasion of privacy is defined as the intrusion into the personal life of another without just cause. This flagrant abuse of our privacy takes place daily in the sanctuary of our homes when we are bombarded with telephone calls from dreaded telemarketers.

Recently Ocean County has experienced an explosion of these calls targeting seniors because many older people are retired and likely to be at home during the day. They own homes and have pensions, investments and Social Security income that makes them ripe for a sales pitch.

The pressure of some businesses to expand their markets results in the abuse of technology by committing fraud and perpetrating scams on unwitting recipients, often the elderly.

In 2003 the government recognized this abuse and established the “Do Not Call” register, legislation that was designed to limit abuses by establishing a list of phone numbers that telemarketers are forbidden to call with certain exceptions, one being political. To circumvent the law telemarketers utilize a technique called the robocall. These prerecorded messages are a cheap, easy way to make calls from anywhere in the world while hiding identities by displaying fake caller ID information.

After 15 years the “Do Not Call” turns out to be just another failed government program. Technology triumphs over the law. It appears that there is little incentive by our legislators to put some teeth in this failed law by demanding that phone companies stop this intrusion. 

Seniors are fed up with being harassed by robocalls and are demanding relief. It’s time for legislators and phone companies to step up and mandate that all customers have the right to opt-in to free call-blocking services. There are times when our lawmakers should be reminded that seniors vote. This is one of them.

Art Mooney

Little Egg Harbor

 

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