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How To Profit From Telemarketing

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the please-kiss-this-man dept.

Privacy 329

jsprat writes: "From the Seattle PI: A man gets an automated message from a telemarketer. He complains. Two weeks later, he gets a check and an apology! In the article, another man is mentioned who claims to have collected $2650 dollars over the last year for illegal spam, faxes and automated calls. Another weapon to fight these clowns?" What's your personal cash-won record?

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Ironically.... (3, Funny)

qurob (543434) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315599)

Telemarketers call YOU so THEY can make money....

Re:Ironically.... (-1)

Sexual Asspussy (453406) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315627)

why is this ironic?

groping for a +5 Funny, maybe. send this cocky piece of shit down where he belongs.


Re:Ironically.... (-1)

Yr0 (224662) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315665)

Yr0 steals your First Post!

Yr0 has stolen a blessed scroll labelled Fir%t Ps07!>

045Ax 65384... CORE DUMP..... (2, Funny)

The_Fire_Horse (552422) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315600)

Hi there - this is a note to the reader of slashdot. If you are reading this message, then the software has cored and the experiment is over.

In case you aren't aware there aren't really any people posting on slashdot - this is all one gigantic IRC bot specifically designed to make you believe that you are part of a community. You (yes - *you* ) are talking to a very clever computer program.

Well, sorry if we confused you, and hey thanks anyway. (Oh, yes and because you are the only reader our logs show that you have several 'karma accounts' and a number of 'troll' accounts - you never fooled anyone.

Even your emails to Taco were ironic - you didnt know, but Taco is actually a QuickBasic program on an old XT!

Thanks for reading and posting.
Over, and out.

Woah! Hey relax - its a joke (I've seen the Matrix too many times)

Re:045Ax 65384... CORE DUMP..... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315610)

Woah! Hey relax - its a joke

I thought jokes were suppose to be funny.

Re:045Ax 65384... CORE DUMP..... (-1)

The_Fire_Horse (552422) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315621)

Not on my shift

Re:045Ax 65384... CORE DUMP..... (-1)

Yr0 (224662) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315681)

I hade a core dump just now.

it made me miss F1rst Psot.

Money for nothing? (1)

stevenbee (227371) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315608)

Who has the time to pursue this kind of thing? That time and energy could be spent making money honestly.
And Timothy, I ain't kissing no man.

; - )

Re:Money for nothing? (2)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315700)

What's so hard about writing down what time they called and if they call when they're not suppose to to send a letter?

Re:Money for nothing? (1)

Bob McCown (8411) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315739)

But, doing that cuts into my pr0n surfing time!

Ben Livingston's success (5, Interesting)

Jerky McNaughty (1391) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315614)

Ben Livingston has a web page with a lot of good hints [] for anyone interested in suing these people. He also has a complete list [] of everyone he's sued, the outcomes, and in some cases, even a scanned image of the check they sent him.

Re:Ben Livingston's success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315826)

Here's a link
straight from the monkey's tongue! []

My personal cash-won record? (5, Funny)

Saint Aardvark (159009) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315615)

No way am I pissing off these guys...I'm gonna make MILLIONS by selling those penis-enlargement pills! And it's not even MLM!

I hate to brag, Timothy, but I think you're being just a little short-sighted about this.

Im gonna be rich (2, Insightful)

fabiolrs (536338) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315616)

If a get 1 buck from ever spammer that sends me unwanted messages Im gonna get rich soon! :))

Is there a law in US that obligates spammers to give people money or that makes spam a crime? Here in Brazil we have no such law neither any law that makes spam a crime. I believe obligating these stupid people to pay some money to people they send spam would descrease A LOT the amount of unwanted messages we get everday...

imagine... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315617)

if a telemarketer read beowolf to you over the phone.

Re:imagine... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315674)

Humm thats hunky.

Da storkenbrekko about thats hunky.

Really. Believe me.

Never underestimate . . . (2, Funny)

div_2n (525075) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315618)

the power of noisemakers. When you know it is a telemarketer, just set the phone next to any of the following for an extended period of time. Say . . . 5 minutes. -A blender -A garbage disposal -A TV/Radio speaker -You ass after eating beans -etc. Remember, they pay for those calls. Make them earn em!

Re:Never underestimate . . . (1)

Brian Kendig (1959) | more than 12 years ago | (#3316023)

You're fighting an entity who simply doesn't care. It's like trying to annoy your PC by thumbing your nose at its error messages.

A telemarketer is a computer script with a human interface. All the telemarketer does is read a computer screen telling him exactly what to say and press buttons indicating your responses. There's absolutely no thought involved on his part, and so he doesn't care whether you try to annoy him.

The best way to deal with a telemarketer is, as soon as you're sure it's a telemarketer:

(1) Ask, 'Does your company have a don't-call list?'

(2) Ask, 'Would you please put my name and phone number on that list?'

I have never had a telemarketer say 'no' to either of those questions, and I hardly ever get a telemarketing call any more.

For more information, see JunkBusters at ' [] '.

I get about 9 to 10 spam emails a day (2, Funny)

412-613-8636 (398626) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315619)

I tried unsubscribing and sending complaints via email. Next day I received some more email from them, so I actually openned and read some of them and they all offered me GREAT deals on cool merchandise.

Gotta try this: (2, Funny)

colonelteddy (556564) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315622)

Hello friends, how would you like to make some easy money?

human: Sure!

It's simple, all you have to do is listen to this message, follow a simple procedure and BOOM! its money in your pocket

human: ... (hmm... accentuated silence!)

Simply send 10 dollars to the following address, or leave us your credit card details, and we'll send you all the information you need to complain about us! Yes, it is that simple!

54. (-1)

GafTheHorseInTears (565684) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315624)

Do not let yourself be deceived: great intellects are sceptical. Zarathustra is a sceptic. The strength, the freedom which proceed from intellectual power, from a superabundance of intellectual power, manifest themselves as scepticism. Men of fixed convictions do not count when it comes to determining what is fundamental in values and lack of values. Men of convictions are prisoners. They do not see far enough, they do not see what is below them: whereas a man who would talk to any purpose about value and non-value must be able to see five hundred convictions beneath him--and behind him. . . . A mind that aspires to great things, and that wills the means thereto, is necessarily sceptical. Freedom from any sort of conviction belongs to strength, and to an independent point of view. . . That grand passion which is at once the foundation and the power of a sceptic's existence, and is both more enlightened and more despotic than he is himself, drafts the whole of his intellect into its service; it makes him unscrupulous; it gives him courage to employ unholy means; under certain circumstances it does not begrudge him even convictions. Conviction as a means: one may achieve a good deal by means of a conviction. A grand passion makes use of and uses up convictions; it does not yield to them--it knows itself to be sovereign.--On the contrary, the need of faith, of some thing unconditioned by yea or nay, of Carlylism, if I may be allowed the word, is a need of weakness. The man of faith, the "believer" of any sort, is necessarily a dependent man--such a man cannot posit himself as a goal, nor can he find goals within himself. The "believer" does not belong to himself; he can only be a means to an end; he must be used up; he needs some one to use him up. His instinct gives the highest honours to an ethic of self-effacement; he is prompted to embrace it by everything: his prudence, his experience, his vanity. Every sort of faith is in itself an evidence of self-effacement, of self-estrangement. . . When one reflects how necessary it is to the great majority that there be regulations to restrain them from without and hold them fast, and to what extent control, or, in a higher sense, slavery, is the one and only condition which makes for the well-being of the weak-willed man, and especially woman, then one at once understands conviction and "faith." To the man with convictions they are his backbone. To avoid seeing many things, to be impartial about nothing, to be a party man through and through, to estimate all values strictly and infallibly--these are conditions necessary to the existence of such a man. But by the same token they are antagonists of the truthful man--of the truth. . . . The believer is not free to answer the question, "true" or "not true," according to the dictates of his own conscience: integrity on this point would work his instant downfall. The pathological limitations of his vision turn the man of convictions into a fanatic--Savonarola, Luther, Rousseau, Robespierre, Saint-Simon--these types stand in opposition to the strong, emancipated spirit. But the grandiose attitudes of these sick intellects, these intellectual epileptics, are of influence upon the great masses-- fanatics are picturesque, and mankind prefers observing poses to listening to reasons. . . .

Oh great - more MAKE MONEY NOW spams! (1)

velcrokitty (555902) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315626)

I can imagine the body of text describing how all you have to do is sit around the house, answering the phone when it rings, record who called you, etc...

Would you like to be as happy as me? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315628)

Send one dollar to:

742 Evergreen Terrace
Springfield, USA
You have the power!

Re:Would you like to be as happy as me? (1)

AsnFkr (545033) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315749)

what state? eric.

Just drive it over to the guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315854)

What state? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315857)


Re:Would you like to be as happy as me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315989)

This is a more accurate map of his location:

Re:Would you like to be as happy as me? (1)

xTK-421x (531992) | more than 12 years ago | (#3316002)

Hey, that Simpsons episode was just on TV last night!

[4F01] - Lisa's Date With Density [] .

"Greetings, friends. Do you wish to look as happy as me? Well, you've got the power inside you right now. So, use it, and send one dollar to Happy Dude, 742 Evergreen Terrace, Springfield. Don't delay, eternal happiness is just a dollar away." -- Homer

The guy in question's website is very informative (0, Redundant)

marekk (572361) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315630)

This guy's (Ben Livingston) website [] . He discusses all of his cases, including settlement, backstory, etc. Very informative.

Re:The guy in question's website is very informati (-1)

Yr0 (224662) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315717)

you lose.

redundant schmuck.

stat 101. (2, Insightful)

QualityWithAKei (156466) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315632)

Schroeter, who already works at home and consequently hates telemarketing calls more than the average person...

he hates telemarketers more on average then i do, just like i'm smarter then the average person and drive better then the average driver.

Re:stat 101. (1)

Bob McCown (8411) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315751)

...and remember, statistically, half the people you meet are dumber than you...

So far, about $3250 (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315638)

And counting. Not bad for a poor grad student. I make sure I post to Usenet quite a lot and surf random porn sites. This seems to be the way they get hold of your address. Once they have it on one list it will soon migrate.

The key here is persistance. Its amazing how almost anyone will crumble when faced with a legal threat. Think about the way Scientologists went after slashdot, thats how I go after spammers. I may even be on thin legal ice so to speak, but the mere threat of the law usually sees these guys settle. At the moment, its cheaper for them to do this.

Its also worth noting that I am Canadian which makes it a whole lot more complicated (and therefore expensive) from a legal perspective.

I would urge slashdotters to take up my hobby, it takes about 1hr/week and can be very lucrative.

Well, I work for RIAA (5, Funny)

prisoner (133137) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315639)

and we just got (pinky in mouth) One Million...oh wait, this is enemy territory....never mind...


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315650)

What's your personal records?? Gimme a break will you!! Do you actually have TIME to collect that cash from spammers? $2000 a year, what a joke... Your valuable time doesn't seem to be very valuable at all.

I actually like telemarketers.... (1, Funny)

Ermyf Jym (567787) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315651)

I think they're a lot of fun, actually. Most people get mad at them but I look at it as a prank phone call you can't get in trouble for. As an example, a telemarketer once called during a favorite tv program of mine. I began to yell at them for interrupting my favorite show but then I calmly explained why it was so important that I watched the show. I gave him the plotline, character descriptions, etc. Had him on the line for about 10 minutes while completely wasting his time!

Re:I actually like telemarketers.... (1)

screenbert (253482) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315988)

I totally agree. I love telemarketers. Anytime a long distance company calls I have this long routine... I asked them if they'll give me .05 a minute 365 days a years 7 days a week. I then get them to commit to a time period... I explain how when you do the math it is $XX,000 dollars. I then ask when I'll receive my check and if it will be an annual payment. They tell me they aren't going to give me a check for $38,000 dollars. I tell them that's fine, I accept money orders cash and travelers checks. My record is 22 minutes.

My wife gets annoyed... meanwhile the New York Times calls and tries to sell me a weekend subscription at a $83 savings. They say it'll be delivered to my door. I tell them that more than a $83.. in the first month alone I could save $800.00, becuase each plane ticket to new york is $200.00...

Just listen to what they are selling and find something to make fun of. Provides for hours fun to tell your friends about.

$500 (4, Interesting)

Blue23 (197186) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315654)

You know, $500 is not a lot. Especially compared to the actual cost of a lawsuit. The number of people who know their rights, and properly preserve the evidice is low. It might just be part of business-as-usual for to pay those who know the law.

They get PR (and all PR is good PR), come across as "ok, we did something wrong but we're good upstanding people who are willing to be good members of the community and make amends." They come out smelling like roses for a fairly paltry sum. It's a wonderful thought.


Re:$500 (1)

Casca (4032) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315677)

Except that now they will be seen as weak, and so are far more likely to get sued by people that they bug. Shouldn't be too long before they are culled from the herd....

Telemarketers have evolved... (5, Interesting)

Gruneun (261463) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315679)

(I was on the fence about putting this out as someone may start doing it, but...)

I received a phone call a few months ago. The call rang once and ended before I could pick it up. When I checked the Caller ID (never go home without it) it had a number outside of my area code with a label, "Prize Claim Dept" attached.

When I checked the area code it was somewhere in the Carribean. I have seen more than a few jobs listed in the classifieds that had similar numbers, charging $20 a minute (legally) without warning.

This was pretty crafty, though. First, they get you to initiate the call, making it much easier for them to get your money. Second, if there ever was a problem, they could easily argue that they dialed the wrong number, realized it, then hung up. They didn't expect you to call them.

Ethically lacking, but pretty crafty.

Re:Telemarketers have evolved... (2)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315724)

I wouldn't really call that telemarketing, but it does remind me of a scam that was going on when pagers were becoming popular.

There was a 'company' that somehow got a hold of large lists of pager number and would page them with their toll number. I think they were charging $90 a minute or something obsurd. I don't remember the outcome, but they were heavily sued by several large parties.


Maybe not.... (2)

truesaer (135079) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315950)

Most telemarketing systems call a bunch of people (say 4) at a time, then connect the first person who picks up to the available operator. That way they don't waste time on people who aren't home, etc. This is why you get so many hangups when you answer your phone....they don't need you anymore.

Microsoft sponsors Slashdot: the evidence, part 1 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315684)

Over the coming days, if Mozilla can stay up for long enough without crashing, Anonymous Coward will bring to you evidence of the Microsoft-backed conspiracy that is Slashdot.

This first post just asks you to be observant, and pay close attention to the web site. In particular, consider the articles within the next fortnight, and the adverts.

To whet your appetite, have you seen the Microsoft ad on Slashdot [] yet? Note the tracking information in the URL -- a click actually means profit from Microsoft to Slashdot.

Do not be fooled. This is serious stuff.

satisfaction (1)

Glanz (306204) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315687)

I haven't collected anything but the satisfaction of seeing a few servers get taken down via weaknesses in MS soft..., bu anonymous and benevolent crackers. The only to stop spammers [although I do believe that some of that stupidity is so ridiculous, it's actually fun, as someone just posted] is to develop really good methodologically sound and efficient cracks to take them out.

How about $10000? (4, Informative)

ndogg (158021) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315689)

Well, you wouldn't necessarily get $10000, but the telemarketing firm would have to pay that in fines if you request that you take your name off their list and they do not do that.

I've worked for a telemarketer before (yes, I have been to hell and back), and I k now for a fact that we were required to immediately, upon request, take a person or business' name and information off our list without any questions asked. If we did not, the firm was risking a $10000 fine. This is federal law. If a telemarketer continues to bug you after requesting that your name be taken off this list, just remind them if this little law.

PS (2, Interesting)

ndogg (158021) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315694)

This also explains why some telemarketers would be sending people money. They'd rather pay $500 to $2500 instead of $10000. This is just a way to keep people from saying anything.

Re:How about $10000? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315720)

> I've worked for a telemarketer before


Do you have somewhere we can read this law? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315738)

I think it would be nice if we could get a copy of this law. Print it out, set it by the phone, wait for the telies and the start reading....

Re:How about $10000? (2, Informative)

amunter (313014) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315921)

If we did not, the firm was risking a $10000 fine.
This is federal law.

I think the federal law you are talking about is the Telephone Consumers Protection Act. The relevant law and complications with using it are analyzed pretty well at Junkbusters U.S. Laws on Telemarketing [] .

The amount is not $10000, but $500.

This post has been deleted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315692)

If you think this is unfair, please phone +441454411586! Calls cost $300 a minute!

an idea (1)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315697)

I bet you could make money beating up telemarketers!

Auto Dialer Delete? Telezapper (3, Interesting)

ProfBooty (172603) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315838)

I saw an ad last night for some device which I believe was sold by the sharper image which you hook up to your phoneline. The device then dectects if an autodialer has been used and then claims to delete you from their database.

As I recall it was called the telezapper. And costs around 50 bucks.

From their website:
The TeleZapper is designed to "zap" calls made by predictive dialer computers by doing two things: first, by disconnecting predictive-dialed calls before you can be connected to a live telemarketer and second, by deleting your phone number from telemarketing computer lists. Whether the TeleZapper will affect computer-dialed calls from other sources depends on the type of computer equipment and how that equipment is being used. Therefore, it may also "zap" calls from other organizations that use predictive dialer computers, such as charitable organizations, blood banks, public safety and service organizations, market researchers, opinion and political pollsters, and academic institutions.

They "delete" you from the database by sending a line disconect signal. I don't know of anyone who has used this device so I can't attest to how well it works.

Re:Auto Dialer Delete? Telezapper (2)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315929)

we had an askslashdot [] on that device a several months ago, asking similar questions and also how it actually worked.

but as for how well it works -- my local news did a test of it sometime in the past few months. they had someone (who works from home) record day&time of calls for two weeks, noting who from, etc, and not requesting removal. then they plugged in the telezapper. after two weeks, the number of calls dropped drastically.

Re:Auto Dialer Delete? Telezapper (1)

GLX (514482) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315943)

Verizon in PA (and I know they've had this for awhile in TX..) has "Call Intercept" now, where if the caller ID is blocked or Out Of Area, it rings straight to this automated-attendant type thing..

They can either hit a 4 digit PIN (say it's a family member...) and it will ring straight through to your phone... Or, they can record their name and you will get a stuttered ring on your phone and when you answer, the persons name plays and you can either accept the call, reject it with a "Remove me from your list, I don't like telemarketers", or send it to your home voicemail service (if you subscribe)...

If it's a predictive/autodialer, they never get through because it requires at least one touch-tone be pressed and the caller actually say something.

Where I used to get 3-5 telemarketing or dead air calls a day, I now get none... Nifty, and well worth the $4.00. Works better than the Telezapper IMO.

Re:Auto Dialer Delete? Telezapper (1)

cholokoy (265199) | more than 12 years ago | (#3316026)

I saw on the local news here in Detroit about this device and they were interviewing a user of the devise who vouches for its effectiveness in screening calls. So I guess they were effective but I do not have one and cannot vouch for it so YMMV.

Return the bells of Balangiga.

Re:Auto Dialer Delete? Telezapper (4, Informative)

dbitter1 (411864) | more than 12 years ago | (#3316050)

My girlfriend has one. It makes a short beep sound whenever someone picks up the phone (any in the house.) Someday I might go over there with an o-scope and see what frequency it is and post it somewhere...

In theory, these also work to various degrees if sent down the line:
NC - No Circuit Found: 985.2 Hz, 380.0 ms; 1428.5 Hz, 380.0 ms; 1776.7 Hz, 380.0 ms
IC - Operator Intercept: 913.8 Hz, 274.0 ms; 1370.6 Hz, 274.0 ms; 1776.7 Hz, 380.0 ms
VC - Vacant Circuit: 985.2 Hz, 380.0 ms; 1370.6 Hz, 274.0 ms; 1776.7 Hz, 380.0 ms
RO - Reorder (system busy): 913.8 Hz, 274.0 ms;1428.5 Hz, 380.0 ms; 1776.7 Hz, 380.0 ms

Been done before (0)

Sase (311326) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315704)

Interestingly enough, this has been done before.

I submitted a news post entitled:
2002-03-22 23:38:03 Finally, a way to combat those Spammers! Victims (articles,news) (rejected)

To slashdot.. but they rejected it :(

Basically, this guy was a lawyer, and everytime he requested to be taken off a list.. He charged them 25$ or something of that nature.

He sent an email saying that if they did not remove him, he would charge them for each email received... They didn't comply.

It eventually turned out to be that the man won in court, and the company settled for all the charges (much over 250)

See if you can search that out in the DB (if its there) :)

Mirror (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315710)

Here is a mirror []

Small claims (2)

pogen (303331) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315718)

A local telemarketer has ignored my do-not-call requests seven times in the past two years. At $500 a pop, that's quite a bit of money, especially when you consider the possibility of treble damages (it's obvious that they are willfully and knowingly ignoring their do-not-call list, since we've reminded them every time). I've written a letter demanding payment for damages, but how should I proceed if they ignore it? The damages are too high for small claims court. Is it worth the trouble of going for the full amount, or would it be better to lower my sights and stick with small claims? Have any of you ever (successfully) sued a telemarketer for more than $3000?

Re:Small claims (1)

nochops (522181) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315733)

Not only can you sue for damages, but the company is also liable for $10000 per call if they refuse your do-not-call requests.

Re:Small claims (1)

pogen (303331) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315782)

Not only can you sue for damages, but the company is also liable for $10000 per call if they refuse your do-not-call requests.

They aren't "refusing" the do-not-call requests per se. In fact, they assure me every time that the request will be honored. Then two months later, they call again.

Re:Small claims (2)

viking099 (70446) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315763)

shoot, just make sure that the part of the suit against them that details damages (punitive and real) includes lawyer's fees...
that's not uncommon in many suits, just ask any public (city, county, etc) attorney.
that way, you get the benefit of your money, and your lawyer is paid for by your opponent!

File separately. (3, Informative)

TheMCP (121589) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315914)

File a separate suit over each incident in which they called you illegally. I would guess that the small claims court's limit would allow for a $500 suit. (Wouldn't it?)

It'll be slightly more of a pain in the ass for you, and you'll have to pay the seven filing fees, but it's probably easier and cheaper than hiring a lawyer and going to a full regular court over it.

The story mentions... (1)

nochops (522181) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315719)

The story mentions that this is Washington state law.

Does anyone know what other states this law applies to? I'd love to do this, as I get on average 10 telemarketing calls a day.

Well I'm no lawyer, (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315722)

so I wouldn't know about using the law to get back at spammers (as in the article), but here in redneck country we have much more effective methods.

For example, just last Tuesday I got $574 dollars and a $200 Rolex from a salesman who failed to notice the "no solicitors" sign on my front gate. He said he'd sue for excessive force and I said he's welcome to have his other eye blacked out too, and to get the fuck out of my house before I take that spiffy suit to go with my new rolex.

Must be new to the area.

One of the easiest ways to avoid this is... (1)

mhesseltine (541806) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315725)

Get an unpublished phone number. I know, it costs $$$ but I think it's worth it. My wife wanted one for personal reasons and I've received 2-3 calls in 3 years, and those were from the stupid phone company. At that point and time, I told them this number was unlisted, take me off your calling list, and they later sent me a letter confirming my request.

Telemarketing Calls (2, Interesting)

karnal (22275) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315731)

I don't receive any telephone calls from telemarketers (that block their ID), since I've got this nifty little "privacy manager" service.

Basically, it just asks the caller for their name, and then prompts me whether I wanna accept or deny (similar to collect calls). I notice that nowadays I have 0 messages on my answering machine, whereas before, I'd get 2-3 junk calls a day.

Also, whenever I sign up for "advertising" promotions (kroger plus card, big bear card, etc) I use my modem line. I've actually heard someone call it, probably to the tune of once a month. I can imagine their suprise when they hear the modem on the other end..... :)

Re:Telemarketing Calls (1)

xTK-421x (531992) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315955)

Out West it's called Privacy Manager [] , but in the Northeast it's called Call Intercept [] . Number of telespam I've gotten per day has gone from 2-3 to 0. Either the autodialers can't handle the automated prompt to record their name, or the telemarketers know they have no sale and just hang up instead of recording their name.

Destroying the telemarketing industry. (5, Funny)

defile (1059) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315734)

See this page [] for a method that would surely destroy the telemarketing industry if enough companies did it.

Re:Destroying the telemarketing industry. (2, Interesting)

behrman (51554) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315902)

I suppose we're starting to mildly drift off topic, here, but I've actually been doing this sort of thing (at home) for some time now. While I can't exactly transfer the telemarketers around, I do find great entertainment in keeping them on the phone for quite a while (once I managed to hold one captive for about a half hour), feigning interest, passing the phone around to various members of the household (works best when I'm visiting my parents, and I have half a dozen or more bored people at my disposal), or just acting(?) very stupid and making them explain things over and over. Naturally, when get bored with them, I'll cheerfully wish them a good (day|evening|weekend) and remind them to put me on their do not call list.

I even managed to get some form of sweet revenge with the Lexington, KY newspaper. I was called one evening, at home, and told about some special weekend offer for home-delivery. Understand that ordinarily I would refuse, simply on principle. The irony is that I had *just* finished looking up the number for home-delivery, so that I could take it with me to work the next day and order home-delivery. I figured that in this ONE case, they actually had good timing, and a service that I was going to buy *anyway*, so... fine: I'd order the paper. One problem: the woman that called me could *ONLY* sell me their weekend package, and I wanted the full-blown, 7-day-a-week, normal-price service. I was dumbfounded.

So, the next day, I gave the paper a telephone call and asked to be connected to new subscriptions. I was connected to a very helpful gentleman who explained the whole subscription plan to me about seven or eight times and then I told him the story that I just related. I explained to him that I was a customer that was ready to buy -- all they had to do was take my money. I then told him that because of that experience I was no longer interested in receiving the paper, and that I would be buying the Cincinnati newspaper at my local Kroger instead. He got rather offended at this, and accused me of calling just to waste their valuable time. I somehow supressed a laugh and told him that I knew *EXACTLY* how he felt, since that's the feeling I had after their telemarketing call.

All in all, I doubt that anyone there will ever notice, or even know how I felt about the whole thing... but, still, making an unsolicited call to a telemarketer (yeah, I know, it was just to the company that contracted a telemarketer, but, still) just seemed to drip with delicious irony.

Re:Destroying the telemarketing industry. (5, Interesting)

Croaker (10633) | more than 12 years ago | (#3316024)

Hmm... imagine what could be done with this technique given:

  1. A reserved phone extension someplace.
  2. A phone sound card connection for this phone.
  3. A PC with voice recognition/voice synthesis software. Voice synthesis would have to be very convincing... perhaps just using canned voice samples. For voice recognition, you might only have to catch a phrase here or there, or maybe just detect silence.
  4. Faux "AI" software, such as Eliza or Racter. Perhaps seeded with marketspeak phrases ("yes, but what's the ROI?", "How do you address the currently shifting business paradigms?") The longer the conversation gets, the more surreal and random the AI should get ("Is it effective on monkeys? Our server room is full of monkeys. Flying ones. They glow blue. And they are tiny.") The AI should also throw out bones form time to time, to keep the marketeer on the hook ("Excellent!" "I can see a need for this in our organization, RIGHT NOW!").
  5. An MP3 server to let everyone else listen to the precious sounds of a telemarketer slowly going insane.

Waste of time (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315735)

If people would stop devoting so much time and effort to bitching about spam/telemarketing/etc. and put that time toward something that's actually productive, they'd probably be a lot happier. Stop being whiny pussies and grow up.

I'm going to look into this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315759)

With all the spam, phone calls and faxes I get I could probably make a couple of grand also. The spam and phone calls are annoying but the faxes cost me money. That thermal paper isn't cheap.

Indiana is trying at least. (5, Informative)

Peyna (14792) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315768)

Here [] is more information on the state of Indiana's anti-telemarketing law that was recently passed, and everything that goes along with it.

We might not have daylight savings time, but at least we are trying to keep out telemarketers. I suggest you look over the text of the law before making any comments, since it provides many ways for people to legally call you, such as not-for-profit orgs using their own volunteers, etc. Anyway, I think it has helped tremendously, and I'm still waiting for a business to get sued over it to really enforce it. (That will be the true test of the law.)

I also believe it is being challenged by a number of groups right now. At least it is a step in the right direction. Heck, the attorney general based his entire last campaign on this issue alone.

Re:Indiana is trying at least. (1)

JayAndSilentBob (517888) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315798)

We might not have daylight savings time

You say that like it's bad. DST is just plain stupid. Let's fool ourselves by resetting the clocks!

Re:Indiana is trying at least. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315888)

Stupid unless you like sleeping when it's dark and being awake when it's not.

Re:Indiana is trying at least. (2)

Peyna (14792) | more than 12 years ago | (#3316016)

DST makes sense. Since we all are set in rigid schedules with school and work, we can simply adjust our clocks to provide more time awake with the sun in the sky. Before we all had to be at work or school at 7 or 8, people went to sleep and woke up with the sun, since it made sense to be awake when the sun was out. They followed daylight savings time without realizing it =] (Although, they adjusting in small amounts throughout the year.)

Anyway, there are numerous businesses who have avoided our state due to the lack of DST. It makes international business difficult, and is a pain in the ass when the 4 corners of the state are all on different time zones, while the rest is on EST. There's significant debate on this issue each year in the statehouse, nothing ever gets done; but something might soon.

The only arguments I've seen against it are 'Farmers will spend more time in the fields', 'Kids will wait for buses in the dark', etc. I don't understand most of these arguments, since a farmer will only spend as much time in the field as necessary, and if DST is done properly, kids are less likely to be waiting for the bus in the dark.

Re:Indiana is trying at least. (1)

broller (74249) | more than 12 years ago | (#3316039)

Kentucky just passed a similar law. You can even sign-up for the no call list online. [] It goes into effect in mid-July.

Unfortunately, there are some exceptions to the No-Call list, including:

3. Calls from businesses with whom you have a prior or existing relationship;

Which rules out the annoying Verizon DSL calls I'm getting now because I use them for local phone service. Two or three times each month they call to offer me DSL service that I'm already getting from them.

Defeating Spam (0)

Bug-Man (83169) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315774)

I recently received a spam message from a company which contained a HTML formatted message which downloaded a number of pornographic images from a website in Hong Kong.

Since this was an obvious spam message, I decided to look into it further, and found the email address of the server's "Technical Contact" through a whois query.

I have since submitted an email to the person claiming that the email was not only intrusive, but a clear case for sexual harassment.

I mean -- how can you justify sending unsolicited pornographic images to someone? The email they sent it to was not only my work address, but the subject of the message was "Regarding your enquiry." A message like this is obviously something you would normally open, because it could legitimately be anything. Low and behold, porn-o-rama.

I have not yet received a response from these clowns, and stated clearly in my email to him the following items:

- I have sent a copy of the email in question and a copy of the email i sent to the webmaster to my lawyer.

- The content of the email was unacceptable for a work corporate email address.

- The content of the email is a form of sexual harassment, of which I may have a case in court for.

- The email was intrusive and unsolicited.

I don't know if I'll get a response or not -- but I hope at least something comes of it.. I don't like spam, and this one went too far.

The next step? Well, they do have a telephone contact on the WHOIS query, and I can only try!

Hey everybody, my linux box crashed! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315776)

And heres the proof!

0x40d631d9 in wait4 () from /lib/
#0 0x40d631d9 in wait4 () from /lib/
#1 0x40de0ef8 in __check_rhosts_file () from /lib/
#2 0x40c2d9f6 in waitpid (pid=1965, stat_loc=0x0, options=0)
at wrapsyscall.c:172
#3 0x40332ffe in KCrash::defaultCrashHandler (sig=0) at kcrash.cpp:224
#4 0x40c77847 in _IO_2_1_stderr_ () from /usr/lib/

Re:Hey everybody, my linux box crashed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315912)

Looks like a hardware failure related problem to me. Generic RAM??

Larger Photo (1)

NerdMachine (159330) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315802)

I love it when under the picture of a chubby guy sticking out his belly, they write Click for a larger photo []

Do you have a local spam law? (2)

bmongar (230600) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315810)

Checkout Spamcon [] to see if there is a local law allowing you to sue spammers.

Re:Do you have a local spam law? (2)

bmongar (230600) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315827)

Oops I meant this link [] the other one was just for missouri.

It's just another ploy... (1)

spellcheckur (253528) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315815)

My immediate reaction to this article: "Now that's an easy way to make money without a lot of effort."

Then I realized that /. was just pushing another "get rich quick" scheme.

list of states and laws regarding telemarketing (1)

zteknofreak (563790) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315837)

i was trying to find a page that would specifically tell me which states support/do not support automated telemarketing, but this seems to be what there is on this.

Re:list of states and laws regarding telemarketing (1)

zteknofreak (563790) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315886)

on a related [sort of] note, massachusetts needs a better search engine for their .gov.

Working from home (2)

BlueUnderwear (73957) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315840)

A home page testimonial says that "Anthony P., a former corporate employee, now works from home and earns over $35,000 per month!"

Yeah, work from home by just picking up telemarketers' calls, and then collect the loot...

Telemarketers (4, Funny)

Jonny Balls (543700) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315843)

When ever telemarketers call me, i usually play songs on the keypad. mary had a little lamb usually goes over well

Re:Telemarketers (1)

Cubeman (530448) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315962)

A new spam idea (1)

pudge_lightyear (313465) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315848)

I've got an idea for a new product/service...I'm planning on sending it out ALL over the internet. I got some cds with millions of email addresses and everything.
All right...stay with's the idea:
Make money suing spam senders
Are you looking for a great way to make money? Are you tired of getting hundreds of emails a day from people you don't know making recommendations for products you don't care about?
Are you tired of your education keeping you back?
We can help...For 50.00 we'll teach you how to turn those unwanted spam into a serious business....

oh wait...that wouldn't work

Funny thing is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315862)

I got a pop under ad when clicking the link to this story... I'd rather have a telemarketer calling me... at least I can flame them back.

What about Canada? (3, Interesting)

kawaichan (527006) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315882)

Does Canada have a similar law regarding to this as well?

This is insane (1)

WD_40 (156877) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315908)

Can I sue slashdot for posting these "Sue a spammer" stories every week?

META Spam anyone? (3, Interesting)

sluggie (85265) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315957)

"Hey, asdasd!

Do you want to get rid of all those spammers? You can earn BIG MONEY by suing them.. bla bla bla...

Just click here to buy the unique 'How to sue the bad guys' whitepaper for just 9.99!

This is a one time opportunity! Request it now and get instant access to our pr0n affiliates for free!"

pennsylvania law (4, Informative)

mach-5 (73873) | more than 12 years ago | (#3315959)

Pennsylvania just passed a law that could make telemarketers liable for up to $3000 for each call. The new law allows residents to be placed on a "Do Not Call" list. The list will be made publicly available to telemarkets, and if they make the call then they get zapped with the fine. Here is the press release [] .

Call Screener (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3315965)

One device that can help you "Collect" money from the telemarketers is the Call Screener.

Automaticaly gets the telemarketers off you line... way better than the telezapper.


I won 3500 and am suing a few others for 5x that (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3316009)

Here in NJ, when most of these companies are located out west or south, it's easy. I sue for 499 a pop, they never show, auto judgement for me, and if they refuse to pay I can fill out and file for free an asset seizure on their bank accounts.

The deal is that anything sent to my business domain name is for business (in or out). I clearly have a statement at the bottom of the site that states that unsolicited email will result in an hourly charge, with a two hour minimum for my services and time. The judges here crack up when they see that, but they have yet to rule against me. I just don't do it enough to be annoying to them.

Specifically, I have filters with auto responders in place stating that the email was unsolicited and that I reserve the right to bill them for time and expenses per my companies standard policy. My email details that they should remove me from their list and immediately disclose the source from which they acquired my private email (which is NOT listed on the site or given out freely on the net). If they don't respond, fine, if they respond negatively or I recieve email from them again unsolicited, I sue. If they actually hand over their source for the mail address (a few have), I sue that company for disclosing my private email and information without permission (that suit is automatic by the way in NJ).

Most just remove me and don't send any more mail, a few are irate and spam me some more or repsond directly in a derisive way (they get sued), a couple have given me their sources and remove me from the list, and a few even apologize (usually the larger, more legitimate outfits).

So far I have spent about four hours in court (I only make 175-200 an hour, so I profited here) and about six hours on the net or working towards filtering and responding. I laugh my ass off at the ireate repsonses, and even more when I have their bank acount frozen until they pay their legal obligation to me settled by default in small claims court.

Another way to make money off of telemarketers (1)

marekk (572361) | more than 12 years ago | (#3316036)

Around 20 states have "do not call" lists where telemarketers are required by state law to not call anyone on the said list. Furthermore, there has been a proposal to create a national do-not-call list [] . That page not only lists the details of the proposed national do-not-call list, but also the states that have their own do-not-call list. Check it out to see if your state has one.

Missouri (the state where I reside) has such a list [] and it is completely free to sign up (some states charge a nominal yearly fee to be on the list). Under Missouri law, any telemarketer calling someone one the no-call list is automatically subject to a $5,000 fine! Complaints against telemarketers can be filed online to the MO Attorney General [] , who has been very agressive in enforcing this law.

Let the FTC know that you are in support of the national do-not-call registry. Below is the information on how you can contact the FTC to let them know how you feel about a national list:
Submit your comments by sending an email to or by writing to the Office of the Secretary, Room 159, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580. Comments are due to the FTC by April 15, 2002.

As an aside, Missouri's Attorney General has also gone after the "Miss Cleo" psychic company for its calls to MO residents. Needless to say, I think our Attorney General is doing a pretty good job...even if they're making a mint off of these telemarketers.

Useful links if you are in the UK (2, Interesting)

aunitt (121462) | more than 12 years ago | (#3316045)

If you live in the UK here's how to stop unwanted telephone marketing and fax spam, just go to these wonderful web sites and sign up. It really is as simple as that.

These are the links to the telephone preference service and fax preference service.

Telemarketeers are not allowed to call you by law if you are signed up to these services. And any half decent telemarketeer with respect them (I know that's an oxymoron) otherwise they won't be in business for long.
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