BY DR. LOUIS ALPERT
Last week’s article in this column, “How to Put an End to Annoying Robocalls” sparked many complaints to this Ombudsman, the most shocking of which revealed the fact that Robocallers have regularly practiced “disguising” their identities by “stealing” the telephone numbers (both landline and wireless) from their former “victims” with the obvious intention of tricking future telephone victims who might otherwise not even answer their telephones when called by the robocallers!
The consequential damages of this highly dangerous practice has led angry telephone customers, totally unknown to a former robocall victim, to complain to such a victim (even on multiple occasions) that they were receiving unsolicited and unwanted calls from that individual. This practice could possibly lead to identity theft for this former robocall victim and is certainly a violation of the privacy rights of that individual.
Not surprisingly, this practice also affected Ombudsman Alert, himself,who received calls from a complete stranger who insisted that I had called him twice at dinner time, from my cell phone to his cell phone!
I had to argue to the strsnger that this was not my fault, but my private cell phone number and privacy were now compromised due to this dangerous practice of the robocallers!
This Ombudsman received numerous complaints from other robocall victims, which included instances in which several of these victims had prolonged arguments with telephone strangers who insisted that they were being harassed by multiple phone calls originating from the former victim’s telephones!
These facts further justify the urgent need for our elected state and federal officials, Senator David Carlucci, Assemblypersons Ellen Jaffee and Ken Zebrowski, as well as Congresswoman Nita Lowey, to immediately sponsor legislation on both the State and Federal Levels to force our telephone and wireless carriers to offer a no-cost option to block all robocalls.
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