Monthly archives: February, 2017

FTC “Shuts Down” Caribbean Cruise Scam

The FTC has cracked down on one company behind the “free cruise!” scam. I get a ton of these calls into my bots. What I find interesting here is the defendants made 12 to 15 MILLION illegal robocalls PER DAY between October 2011 and July 2012, and yet they were only fined $2500. Apparently they are broke. If they misrepresented their financial situation, then they’ll have to pay $1.35 million. 

Actually, this is one of many settlements, but the “big one” to Caribbean Cruise Lines was about $500,000. Supposedly this scam generated millions to CCL, so I guess it was worth it.

And, by the way, have you gotten any “free cruise” calls since 2012? Yeah, me too.

This crackdown was probably a lot of work for the FTC and the various states involved. Jolly Roger Telephone works on the consumer’s behalf and will STOP this entire business model. My bots sound like a human to their robocallers and it’s not long before their human agents are engaged with my bots. If I can just get more people using the Jolly Roger Telephone service, then I can put a stop to this entire practice since it will take several minutes for the agents to figure out they’re talking to a robot.

Here is the announcement from the FTC. Thanks for helping me spread the word everyone. I can stop this! The FTC, FCC, carriers, and state regulators cannot. But I need your help to spread the word.

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2017/02/ftc-states-put-remaining-defendants-massive-caribbean-cruise?utm_source=govdelivery

 

 


Roger’s repeat appearance on The New Screen Savers on TWiT.tv

Thank you to Leo Laporte and the crew at TWiT.tv for inviting me to The New Screen Savers for a second time! Here is my most recent appearance (on February 18th, 2017) where I discuss how I am attacking the Windows Support scammers by having robots call them hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of times.

https://twit.tv/shows/new-screen-savers/episodes/92?autostart=false

I appeared one year ago (February 20th, 2016) on The New Screen Savers when this whole Jolly Roger Telephone thing took off the first time. Here is that show.

https://twit.tv/shows/new-screen-savers/episodes/41?autostart=false

What an incredible thrill! The whole family came up this time. My son, Nate, opened the show.

And thank you all of you for your kind words and support during this crazy, crazy year. I am honored and humbled.

Roger

 


Nice article about Jolly Roger Telephone from a photographer in Houston

A photographer in Houston posted a nice blog entry about how Jolly Roger Telephone has changed his attitude about telemarketers. Like many of you (and me), he relies on his phone for new business. If you don’t have the luxury of ignoring unrecognized callers, then you need a Jolly Roger bot to take your unsolicited telemarketers. And of course, the longer you are in business, the more likely you are to get these “Google rankings” or “small business loan” calls.

Here’s the article. Thanks David!

https://fluffyshotme.com/helpful-tips/2017/02/jolly-roger/


Listen live as the bots call “Microsoft Technical Support”

Windows support scammers are back online. Sending a small number of calls as we all get back to our day jobs.

Here is a small “Broadside” campaign to knock out a number that was reported to me this morning. Some of these calls are really long. Obviously at some point they know it’s a bot, but rather than hang up, they stay on the line. I wonder if they’re not allowed to hang up?

This will be even funnier when we have bots designed for this scam. For now, the regular bots are having fun. You can listen along here.


Federal Trade Commission stops an IRS “Money Mule”

The FTC put a stop to a money transfer process between the US and India involving the “fake IRS”. The press release is here:

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2017/02/ftc-settlement-puts-stop-money-mule-who-profited-india-based-irs?utm_source=govdelivery

The interesting thing is it says “a settlement puts a stop to it” but there’s no mention of punishment, fines, or jail time. I think these scams and money trails are so complicated that the best the FTC can do is shut them down. But the perpetrators are not frightened so they (or others) will just keep on doing it.

Short of complicated international cooperation, law enforcement, regulations, and punishment, I think the best we can do is suck up their time with robots. For now, I need you subscribe and transfer these callers into my bots but the long-term solution is for me to call them back with bots and flood their call centers. I’ll need to set up a ‘rapid response’ procedure that will hit them hard as soon as the numbers are reported to me. I can hit them with so many calls that the potential victims will not be able to get through. It’s risky, and a little dangerous, but it’s going to take a pirate to fix this. The world governments cannot help you. I will do it. Please spread the word, sign up, and buy tee shirts.

Thanks for supporting this effort!

Roger

 

 


Broadside attack on Windows Support – Valentine’s Day 2017

Here is a list of LIVE CALLS as they happen. I am hitting Windows Support today, February 14, 2017. You can listen to the calls here. Please report the good ones on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/jollyrogertelephone/posts/625220764346238

I’m using the number that Chuck submitted on Facebook. An agent is answering right away. The number is 844-244-8576. Let’s see how long it lasts.

 


Roger’s ready to hit some Windows support scammers

I think I have the pieces in place, but need to do some testing. I’ll make some test calls tomorrow (Monday) and you can all listen to the calls as they happen. If all goes well, then I’ll be able to take several out of service on Tuesday while you listen along.
 
Thank you everyone for your support on this. I think it will be a good show. We’re going to need to all pitch in to listen to the hundreds (thousands?) of calls as we pound a Windows Support scam call center into the ground. You’ll need to report the best ones.
 
In the meantime, please email me screenshots of the warning popups at roger@jollyrogertelephone.com. I will be very careful with this. Do not send me legit numbers – I will test them ahead of time. Just send me the scammers.
 
If there are any ethical hackers out there, we need to find the source of these numbers. I assume the popups are generated dynamically and the phone number is pulled from some server somewhere. Perhaps the source javascript will tell us the source URL. If we can get that, then I can keep up the broadside attack even if they cycle the telephone number. Make sense?
 
Anyway, it should be a fun week. I am scheduled to appear on This Week in Tech (TWiT.tv) with Leo Laporte this Saturday at 3:00 PM Pacific Time and I’m looking forward to telling him about it.
 
Thanks all!
Roger
 
 

Fake IRS chats with a bot as Jolly Roger floods his call center with more bots

Most telemarketer scams are from outbound calls (from the telemarketer to you), but some scams involve INBOUND calls where they convince the victim to call into them. There are so many heartbreaking stories about these scam victims that I’ve decided to use my telecommunications powers to pound them into the ground. I don’t flatter myself to think I can stop the outbound scammers, but I have the power to crush the inbound scammers.

The way I do this by having my bots call them hundreds of times on dozens of simultaneous channels. If that doesn’t stop them, then I call thousands of times on hundreds of simultaneous channels. I am positive that I have more capacity than they do. And as fast as they hang up, my bots are calling. it’s expensive, but it is possible to eliminate these scams. And I’m going to try.

When pirate ships attack, they turn “broadside” so all of the cannons can be used to blast the enemy.

In this call, my bot is talking to a fake IRS agent. This is the beginning of the broadside. The fake agent is confused and is trying to understand how I am doing this. You can hear the confusion. Eventually they disabled the telephone number. The thousands of messages that they left to “call back immediately to avoid prison” were useless. The number was dead.

I started this service to protect the telephone network from telemarketing. I am happy to expand this effort to eradicating this type of scam. I have the tech. I just have to incur the usage costs. Perhaps there is a friendly carrier out there willing to quietly sponsor me. It’ll be our secret.

Until then, please consider subscribing to the Jolly Roger Telephone service or “Donate to a Broadside Attack” in my shop. And please help spread the word!

Please enjoy and thank you for listening!


I am going to eradicate the inbound Windows Support scam

UPDATE: This post is getting some traction on reddit (thanks reddit!), so I wanted to address a couple things. First, I love telecommunications and I vow to never use this technology for mischief or malice. I built these bots to handle INBOUND telemarketer scammers, but about 10 days ago I got a popup saying my computer was infected. I called it and confirmed it was “Microsoft Technical Department”. I called it a few more times from different caller-ids and got the same call center. So I pounded it into the ground. After about 300 calls, the number was disconnected. Here are the types of messages.

Hi all,

I’m getting ready for a major initiative to shut down Windows Support. It’s like wack-a-mole, but I’m getting close to going nuclear on them. As fast as you can report fake “you have a virus call this number now” messages to me, I will be able to hit them with thousands of calls from bots. It’s like when the pirate ship turns “broadside” on an enemy in order to attack with all cannons simultaneously. I’ll calling it a “Broadside” campaign against Windows Support and the fake IRS.

There are A LOT of moving pieces to getting this working. One of them is letting you hear the calls as they happen. This is a little post to test the html for the posted recordings. I really need to write a WordPress plugin to do it. For now, I have a script that generates this raw HTML for me to post here. Anyway, please enjoy these experimental calls and we can anticipate the day when these call centers are all gone because of one pirate attacking them safely from off-shore.

Calls for category ‘Windows Support’

This audio is 166 seconds
This is part of a small “Broadsides” campaign against a Windows Support number
This audio is 376 seconds
This audio is 285 seconds
This audio is 441 seconds
This audio is 220 seconds
This audio is 280 seconds
This audio is 335 seconds
This audio is 130 seconds

Podcast episode 13 has been posted

Hi all! It’s out of order – I am posting episode 13 AFTER episode 14. But 13 is there now and ready for listening. Also, I noticed that Soundcloud does not allow downloading the tracks by default. I have enable that also. Not that any of you want to permanently archive these files, but there’s no reason to stop you.

In this episode, I discuss my first three bots – the “Original Jolly Roger”, Debbie Doldrums, and Jolly Jenny. Some of you have expressed an interest in the story behind these bots. They all have their own personality and funny stories about their creation.

My podcast should be easy to find in Google Play, iTunes, and any podcast index, but if you want the URL of the RSS feed, it is http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:248480220/sounds.rss

Here is a link to episode 13. Thank you for listening and your support in my efforts to stop telemarketing!

Roger