Tuesday, October 24, 2017

An Exciting Offer

Telemarketers, Robocalls, Scams, and When A Stranger Calls
1950 magazine illustration by Robert G. Harris. Woman in terror, waiting for the phone to ring. An Exciting Offer and Other stories of Marketing the American Dream. marchmatron.com

In 1995, Ms. Graybeal started receiving phone calls every 90 minutes in her Massachusetts home. When she answered the caller hung up. After six months and 2,688 calls, law enforcement traced the calls to suburban Maryland . . .
Al Martin's 'Fear Came Calling' An Exciting Offer and Other stories of Marketing the American Dream. marchmatron.com
but none of the human occupants were responsible . . . 
'Womens Story' mag, 1950s. An Exciting Offer and Other stories of Marketing the American Dream. marchmatron.com
a conclusion both true and creepy . . . 
Jon Whitcombe 1950s illustration of a woman on the phone. An Exciting Offer and Other stories of Marketing the American Dream. marchmatron.com
Eight years earlier, Steuart Petroleum had installed an auto-dialer on a few of their residential heating tanks. When empty, the tanks would call the company number and automatically reorder petroleum. 
However, Steuart sold off their residential contracts and years later Ms. Graybeal was assigned the 800 number when she installed a phone line for a repair company she ran from her home. 
Illustration for Bell Telephone. 1950s It's fun to phone. Little girl uses a rotary dial phone. An Exciting Offer and Other stories of Marketing the American Dream. marchmatron.com
If a telemarketer calls, 
give the phone to your kids 
and tell them it is Santa
The first large FBI investigation into telemarketing scams, called Operation Disconnect, was initiated in 1991 in Salt Lake City. It lead to 240 arrests nationwide. 
Over the next two years, the FBI recruiting retired agents and trained senior volunteers, some who had lost money in scams, to act as potential fraud victims. More than 7,000 phone calls were recorded and hundreds of fraudulent call centers were shut down. 
Good job FBI and way to get some personal payback for seniors. 
Illustration by Phillips, C Coles "Our Miss York" 1916. A flapper waits for a call. An Exciting Offer and Other stories of Marketing the American Dream. marchmatron.com
25 years and millions of electronic data breaches later . . .
(Thanks Equafax. I'm thrilled the IRS has given you a national data access contract.) 
all the racketeering reprobates need is digital access.  
An estimated $40 billion dollars a year are lost in phone scams with fraudulent callers from Nigeria stealing over a fourth of that total.
Pin Up Illustration by Moran, Earl Who Shall I Call? An Exciting Offer and Other stories of Marketing the American Dream. marchmatron.com
The scams are also more sophisticated. To lose money, you no longer need to send money to a disenfranchised prince who will return your funds along with a gift of appreciation.  
The "One Ring Scam" involves a degenerate calling once and disconnecting the call after a single ring. If someone calls the number back, they are put through to an international number and charged exorbitant premium rates for the call. 
Pulp fiction Illustration by Roswell Keller. Isabell call Charlie from her boudoir. An Exciting Offer and Other stories of Marketing the American Dream. marchmatron.com
In 2011 a British man, fed up with telemarketing, changed his personal phone number to a fee per minute phone number. He gave the number to any business requesting contact details and made £300 from marketers looking to make a sale. 
Illustration 1950s party line pin up. An Exciting Offer and Other stories of Marketing the American Dream. marchmatron.com
A US District Judge in Manhattan ordered Time Warner Cable to pay a woman in Texas $229,500 for harassment. The cable company made 100s of robocalls including 75 calls between the time she filed the suit and the case went to trial . . . not a good plan.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act requires that solicitors maintain a company-specific "do-not-call" list and follow the National Do Not Call Registry 
Consumers can sue for $500 for each unauthorized call and $1,500 for each subsequent call after notifying the call center and opting out.
Lifestyle illustration mid 1950's by Oliver Brabbins. Young housewife sits on the floor and talks on the phone. An Exciting Offer and Other stories of Marketing the American Dream. marchmatron.com
In January 2017, Dish Network lost a class action case in North Carolina. The jury awarded plaintiffs $400 per call totaling $20.5 million. 
Four months later, a U.S. District Judge following guidelines tripled the award to $61 million . . .  
but that wasn't the end of it. 
Illustration by D'Andrea, Bernard L. A woman talking on the telephone. 1950s. An Exciting Offer and Other stories of Marketing the American Dream. marchmatron.com
Another U.S. District Judge ordered Dish Network to pay a $280 million penalty to the federal government and four states after it was determined that Dish had made 60 million unlawful calls . . . 
but that still wasn't the end of it. 
"A Live Wire" Ziegfeld poster 1921 by Alberto Vargas. A flapper talks on a candlestick telephone. An Exciting Offer and Other stories of Marketing the American Dream. marchmatron.com
Dish is required to hire a telemarketing compliance expert and prove that they are complying with the Telemarketing Sales Rule or they will be barred from conducting any outbound telemarketing for two years.  
In addition, for a ten-year period, twice a year Dish must send telemarketing compliance material to the federal and state plaintiffs, including all outbound telemarketing call records . . .
Cosmopolitan Magazine, November 1950, illustration by Coby Whitmore. Woman laughing while holding a telephone. An Exciting Offer and Other stories of Marketing the American Dream. marchmatron.com
which is fantastic . . .  
until Dish buys more congressional votes and changes the law. 
Little Brother Listens In, art by George Hughes. Detail from Saturday Evening Post cover, February 9, 1957. An Exciting Offer and Other stories of Marketing the American Dream. marchmatron.com
Federal Trade Commission receives 250,000 complaints about telemarketing per month and lawsuits have increased tenfold over the last five years. 
226 million numbers have been recorded with the National Do Not Call Registry. The Feds also list steps to prevent phone scams
Lynn Buckham illustration for Saturday Evening Post 1960. "The Intrusive Stranger." Woman in nightie talks on the phone. An Exciting Offer and Other stories of Marketing the American Dream. marchmatron.com
The National Do Not Call Registry does not prevent calls by political organizations, charities, or telephone surveyors . . .
something the founder of the American National Super PAC (identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a white supremacist group and by Trump as "good people") took advantage of this election cycle. Blanketing several states with calls, the founder revealed that for under $6,000, a robocall was sent to every residential landline in the state of Wisconsin.
Cover for Murder is the pay off. A 1950s pulp fiction illustration of a frightened woman, holding a phone behind a door as stranger walks into the house.An Exciting Offer and Other stories of Marketing the American Dream. marchmatron.com
"I am voting for Donald Trump because he will not only be presidential, he will put America first.  Furthermore, he will respect all women and will help preserve Western civilization. If you vote Donald Trump, he will be a fine president. He will select the very best to be in his cabinet, and the entire world will benefit from his leadership. This call is not authorized by Donald Trump."
Well, he has done a terrific job so far.
"Just Between Us"Vintage cigarette card 1948 Pin-up in red talks on the phone. An Exciting Offer and Other stories of Marketing the American Dream. marchmatron.com
One of the best telemarketer/scam responses ever . . . 
An alarm and security company contracted telemarketing calls through India offering "free" instillation of systems. The calls were auto generated with input questions leading into a live marketer. The receiver of the calls had requested the calls stop with no change in call volume so he did some research into the company. 
The security instillation was indeed free but they failed to disclose that activation and use of the system required hefty monthly payments and an extensive contract. 
During the next unsolicited call, he requested the supreme business package with all the extras . . .  
and gave them the business address of their own corporate headquarters. 
The address, not recognized by the out of state marketer, received a full crew of sub-contracted technicians ready for installation. 
 #Marketing #Sales #Robocall #AmericanDream

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