FBI, FTC, FCC? The phone scammers are just laughing.

So, yesterday, I was on the phone with the State of CA Franchise Tax Board, AT&T, the FBI, the FCC and the FTC. No… I take that back… I was on HOLD with the FCC for an hour, and never actually spoke to a human being and finally gave up. I have been to the seventh layer of hell and back, and have little to show for it.

What can we glean from all this:

No one is actually in charge of anything.

No one can solve any of the problems you have.

If the computer says this, it’s THIS. You have no recourse.

People outside the U.S. have outfoxed all these entities, and there’s NOT A FUCKING THING any of us can do about it.

NO ONE IS IN CONTROL!!!

We are doomed.

Here’s the back story: In a nutshell, the State of California Franchise Tax Board does not issue notices to let you know that something has not been received or is overdue. Why? “It’s not their job to let people know what they owe – the people are supposed to know this.” Not only that, they will not issue itemized, typed bills that list everything so you have a record. Nor will the workers give out their last names or direct phone lines, so you can’t talk to the same person twice, and must start over with each one.

AND! The FTB doesn’t care what your issue or situation is, nor that you never even KNEW you owed anything, there is NO NEGOTIATION granted. Ever. On anything. You owe them what you owe them, EVEN THOUGH you didn’t know you owed it AND they were tacking fees and penalties on top of it – WITHOUT NOTIFYING YOU.

Isn’t this called extortion at best, and the Mob at worst? Aren’t there Mobsters sitting in prison on the East Coast right now for the SAME BEHAVIOR???

OK, that’s just one issue for the day.

The other? A fraudulent company outside the U.S. has hijacked my name and phone number (which is UNLISTED!!!) and is using that number on caller IDs to contact people and make bogus credit card pitches in an attempt to scam people. And it has MY NAME on the caller ID. I called AT&T – ultimately, they said they are aware of it, and there’s nothing they can do about it. The calls aren’t actually being made over phone lines, they’re coming over computer lines, over which they have no control. They referred me to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

I sat on hold with the FCC for over an hour – no one ever answered the phone. The muzak interrupted with the “Please stay on hold – someone will be with your shortly” announcement every 30 seconds was enough to make me homicidal. I finally gave up, as I was kept on hold beyond the time the office is open on the East Coast, and filed a complaint on their website. In my experience, any complaint filed on a federal website gets you SQUAT. Nobody reads those complaints. They go straight to the trash.

So, I remembered a presentation by the local FBI office about credit card fraud that occurs oversees (the takeaway from that is that the companies are located in countries hostile to the U.S., and therefore the hosting countries don’t really give a shit what the U.S. or FBI want), and thought maybe they could help me. No, they said (even though I KNOW they have a unit dedicated to this because I TALKED TO THEIR AGENT MYSELF AT THE WORKSHOP), and referred me to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

I called the FTC, and the worker was extremely nice, but sadly informed me that the FTC knows EXACTLY what’s going on with my hijacked name/phone number, and they’re working diligently on it, but there’s nothing they can do to stop it immediately. She took my report, and encouraged my friend (who alerted me to what was going on after seeing my name/number on her caller ID multiple times, and each time it was a scam credit card company’s robocall) to report what had happened. She did.

Now what.

We wait.

And wait.

And wait.

Meanwhile… potentially thousands of people every day are getting phone calls from “me” and getting extremely annoyed at best and scammed at worst.

So. Bottom line: The entire technologically controlled world, from the internet to the telephone companies, has become the Wild Wild West. Shark infested waters. Filthy with pirates. Nothing anybody can do about it. Hands are tied. Sucks to be you. Maybe we should just close all the state and federal departments that deal with this stuff BECAUSE… it wouldn’t make one damn bit of difference.

 

 

 

 

 

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