FCC Scammed Out Of Millions In Telco Scam

from the probably-not-the-best-target dept

If you're going to pull a telco scam, perhaps targeting the FCC isn't the best idea. However, some employees at a couple of video relay services apparently scammed the FCC out of a few million dollars. In case you don't know, Video Relay Service is a mandated program for helping people who are hard of hearing to communicate by using interpreters and web cameras to help make phone calls. The way the program works is that the FCC will reimburse service providers who offer this at $6.50/minute. That's a pretty good per minute amount, and so folks at these two video relay services decided to make fake phone calls to run up those minutes.


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    Ima Fish (profile), Mar 11th, 2010 @ 11:42am

    My wife's parents are deaf (in fact my wife graduated from Gallaudet, you can't get more Deaf cred than that...) and we know plenty of people involved with this scam. Its amazing how much they were making, how long it went on, and how obvious the FCC was.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Mar 11th, 2010 @ 12:35pm

    Question is: was it really a 'scam' or was it 're-direction' of tax dollars?

    Like the $999.00 hammers the Pentagon buys?

     

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    Stupid, Mar 11th, 2010 @ 12:50pm

    Ryan

    This is stupid anyway. Instead of letting the actual, you know...users of these services pay for it, they're subsidizing it with everybody else's money. If there's not enough demand for it to entice service providers, then there's not enough demand period. But they set up a system that pays providers per usage for a system there's apparently not enough demand for, and then they're surprised that it gets abused?

    Actually, I take that back. I'm sure nobody's surprised, but since when did anybody in the government give a shit about other people's money?

     

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    Glenn, Mar 11th, 2010 @ 4:07pm

    So?

    This still runs a distant second to the Universal Slush Fund scam.

     

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    jim, Mar 11th, 2010 @ 8:32pm

    why bother with the petty millions you can make here instead of going after some of the 6 billion you can collect from medicare yearly by faking equipment and procedures.

     

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    john (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 2:14am

    a bit incorrect

    the info is a tad incorrect -

    First, there's numerous relay service providers out there - and there's been 26 people caught in the FBI's dragnet, across multiple VRS providers.

    http://washingtondc.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/pressrel10/wfo011310.htm

    Secondly, it's ALOT more than a couple million.

     

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    Eric Stein (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 9:45am

    Terms of service :: sounds like "scam me"

    It seems to me that the underlying problem is not connecting people who need this service to a free alternative. Who pays $390 an hour for vidchat?

     

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    VRSEngineer, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 11:48am

    Point-to-point video calls are, of course, free. VRS providers provide free or subsidized videophones to the deaf and hard of hearing, and carry all point-to-point calls for free.

    The cost here is for American Sign Language interpreter time when placing calls between deaf customers and hearing PSTN numbers. ASL interpreters are not free, and interpreting time is physically exhausting. Long-duration calls actually trade-off interpreters in the middle of a call.

    As for the cost... well, I suggest you look into running your own VRS provider service before commenting.

    Yes, some providers used fraudulent practices to run up minutes. This is unfortunate, as a number of VRS providers are quite innocent and have not been charged with any fraudulent practices.

     

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    identicon
    ijcaonline.org, Apr 27th, 2010 @ 4:09am

    SCAM JOURNAL - ijcaonline.org

    SCAM JOURNAL PUBLSIHING UNREFEREED PAPERS!!! International Journal of Computer Applications ijcaonline.org The best place to publish nonsensical papers!!! Papers published by IJCA have no recognition in most Universities!! Blacklisted by several universities in Europe, US and Asia!! International Journal of Computer Applications ijcaonline.org a SCAM JOURNAL!!! BEWARE!!!!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    ijcaonline.org, Apr 27th, 2010 @ 4:10am

    SCAM JOURNAL - ijcaonline.org

    SCAM JOURNAL PUBLSIHING UNREFEREED PAPERS!!!

    International Journal of Computer Applications
    ijcaonline.org

    The best place to publish nonsensical papers!!!

    Papers published by IJCA have no recognition in most Universities!!

    Blacklisted by several universities in Europe, US and Asia!!

    International Journal of Computer Applications
    ijcaonline.org

    a SCAM JOURNAL!!! BEWARE!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Goerge gurmin, Jul 9th, 2012 @ 9:22am

    IJORCS-White Globe Publications

    International Journal of Research in computer Science is a one of best available platforms available for publishing original computer science research articles.IJORCS,JOURNAL OF COMPUTER SCIENCE,COMPUTER JOURNAL

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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