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March 07, 2006

Roboscam Update

With all the distractions last week, MP neglected to post an update on the "Roboscam" calls he obsessed about two weeks ago.  For now, interest in this story elsewhere has waned, and MP has received no new reports of the automated calls in over a week.  So for today, here s a quick update of the congressional districts that have received the calls according to MP's readers and other public sources and a suggestion to those who have received the calls on what they can do about it.

For those who may have missed it, we have had reports from voters in congressional districts all over the country who received automated, recorded calls that purport to be a survey but look more like an effort to "harvest data" under the false guise of a survey.  Of my many posts two weeks ago, this one provided the most concise summary and included a list of a dozen districts that received the calls.  Since then, MP readers in two more districts sent in reports of the calls, so here is an updated and complete list of those reported along with links to reports in other sources:

Democrats
Melissa Bean, IL-8
Leonard Boswell, IA-03 (IowaTrueBlue)
Stephanie Herseth, SD-at large
Brian Higgins, NY-27
John Salazar, CO-03 (Pueblo Chieftan, junctiondailyblog)
Jim Matheson, UT-02

Republicans
Chris Chocola, IN-2
Mike Ferguson, NJ-07
Randy Kuhl, NY-29 
Bob Ney, OH-18 (Greydoesmatter)
Mike Rogers, MI 
Don Sherwood, PA-10
John Sweeney, NY-20 (Glen Falls Post Star, Albany Times Union)

Sadly, as interest in this story has waned elsewhere, the odds of further coverage from the mainstream media seem unlikely.  However, those who have received such calls have one remaining recourse, which is to file a complaint with the FCC (and possibly their state attorney general).  As noted previously, the calls appear to violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which requires the makers of automated calls to identify themselves and provide a working telephone number for recipients to call to request placement on a do-not-call list.  None of the reports made mention of any such identification. 

So MP urges those who have received the calls to report the violations to the FCC, which is empowered by TCPS to investigate further.  The FCC website includes the following information:

If you would like to send the FCC a complaint about suspected violations of the TCPA or of the FCC's rules, you can file it by e-mail (donotcall@fcc.gov), by telephone 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice, 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY, or by mail:

Federal Communications Commission
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

Related Entries - Push "Polls" , Roboscam

Posted by Mark Blumenthal on March 7, 2006 at 06:42 AM in Push "Polls" , Roboscam | Permalink

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