After a long delay I have recorded episode 16 of the Jolly Roger Telephone podcast. In this episode I discuss “ringless voicemail” and the “Can you hear me now?” scam that have both been circulating around the internet for a few weeks. I share three fantastic (and extremely vulgar) calls with you. If you don’t have time to listen, here’s what I basically think about these two issues:

Ringless Voicemail:

Somehow this turned into a partisan issue. I guess someone at the Republican National Committee supported a proposal to the FCC and now the headlines are saying it’s a Republican idea. But it’s just a proposal by various trade organizations to get around the “opt in” nature of telemarketing calls to your mobile. I cannot imagine this will ever be approved, but if it is, we will all just sign up for a voicemail transcription service and these messages will be filtered by a junk mail algorithm. Or we all just shut off our voicemail. I don’t think it’s a big deal.

“Oh my headset slipped. Can you hear me now?”

The headlines say “Don’t say yes! They can use your recording to force you to pay later!” This is another issue that surprises me. Even the FTC and BBB tell you not to engage. There’s a great article from the Archer Security Group at that discusses this. Kerry Tomlinson traced it back to the source and it seems pretty benign. A scammer threatened to take a business to court because they supposedly had a recording of him agreeing to purchase the services. I’m sure if the business had pushed, it would have fallen apart in court. But rather than deal with it, they just paid. Have any of you heard of a telemarketer successfully suing anyone because of a doctored recording? Yeah, me neither. And I don’t think we ever will. There are hundreds of recordings of me saying ‘yes’ on YouTube. Snip one of those and bring it on, telemarketers!

Anyway, here’s the podcast. There are three calls in here, and two of them are extremely raunchy so you have been warned.

Thanks for listening!