You have a call that could make you a $ million

This (via here, with more links)  is pretty incredible:

As part of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, Congress mandated the creation of a nationwide telecommunications relay service so hearing and speech disabled people could make telephone calls within the United States. The calls are free for the users – the cost is paid for via a telephone regulatory fee collected by the FCC from telephone companies and their customers.

In 2002, Nigerians allegedly began using the service to carry out frauds such as buying items in bulk with stolen or fake credit cards, or overpaying with a counterfeit check. Since at least early 2004, AT&T received hundreds of complaints from U.S. merchants on the receiving end of fraudulent relay calls, the government alleges.

“AT&T was aware of these scam calls,” the complaint by whistleblower Lyttle states, but managers allegedly told workers “that until the FCC makes AT&T stop, it would continue processing these illegitimate and ineligible calls, and if it weren’t for these ineligible calls, Defendant’s IP Relay TRS center would be closed and [employees]…would be out of a job.”

The FCC in late 2008 began to crack down, requiring all IP Relay providers to register their users and verify the accuracy of each user’s registration information, in particular the user’s name and U.S. mailing address.

According to the DOJ complaint, “AT&T adopted electronic registration procedures that it knew would not verify that each user was located at the U.S. mailing address provided. AT&T also failed to adopt any procedure to detect and/or prevent dozens of fraudulent users from registering with the same U.S. mailing address, despite knowing that this was occurring on its system.”

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