For a few years, we've been warned about the impending doom of VoIP spam, though much of that concern was centered on automated calls sent to users on VoIP networks. Apparently the real problem is being driven not by the ability to send out thousands of calls from a computer as easily as sending out thousands of emails, but rather the ever-falling prices of international voice calls thanks to VoIP and other market developments. Telemarketers, scammers and other annoying callers are simply avoiding local do not call regulations by going global and taking advantage of cheap international call rates to make their usual calls with autodialers and recorded messages to the PSTN. There's not a lot of recourse for consumers or regulators, since the calls are passed without caller ID information, making them difficult to trace, and it's not as if people making these calls really care about following local laws. And as the cost of calls continues to fall, it would seem the problem is simply going to get worse -- with the same kind of people who buy from or get scammed by email spam making it worth VoIP spammers' while to harrass the rest of us.
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