Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Nuthin' Can Be Done About It!

Cathy, Lisa, Jennifer, whatever, they are all scam artists - and nuthin' can be done about it.

We let crooks run rampant in this country, and when authorities are pressed for action, they throw up their hands and say, "Nothing can be done about it!   Watch out for yourself!"

"Lisa" from "Card Member Services" called again today.   She's been calling a lot lately - apparently the scam operation is up and running again.   

Of course, it is a scam.  And they telegraph this to you by violating the Do Not Call registry.  They are violating Federal law with every phone call.   Do you really think they have a real deal to lower your credit card interest rates?  Of course not.   Most times, they want a cash amount up-front (as much as $2000) to "lower your rates".   They keep this money and do nothing.   Other times, they just steal and sell your credit card information.

This website from the Minnesota Attorney General tries to be helpful, but really isn't.  She basically admits that, due to "technology" they cannot track down and prosecute these folks, and that the best you can do is file a useless complaint with the FCC or FTC (who will do nothing, because they largely can't do anything).

The refrain is the same.   Watch out for yourself, as we can't stop these criminals.   Don't fall for their scam, no matter how genuine it sounds.

And that is good advice for people who are young and astute and clever.

But for the poor and uninformed (and not very bright), what do they do?   They assume that people who sound like they are in positions of authority know what they are talking about.   And decent poor people, who work hard and try to get ahead, fall for these scams all the time.

Some folks get really upset about this (myself included).  And some try to contact the FTC, the FCC, their Congressman, or whatever - to no avail.   These people keep popping up like a bad penny, every six months.

They can spoof caller ID.  They use disposable or rented phone numbers or even stolen cell phones or calling cards.  The move from place to place, or are overseas.   They just can't be caught, it seems.  Or at the very least, we don't want to expend the effort to try - or to try to use technology to prevent them from calling.

In Canada, I am told, they have a telephone version of the SPAM filter.   Once a phone number is identified as a SPAM or fraud caller, using feedback from citizens, it can be quickly shut down and filtered, so that future calls do not go through.   For some reason, we can't do this in the United States.

Oh, right, that is "fettering legitimate businesses" with "unnecessary regulation."

Civilizations do not collapse from external forces, but rot from within.   Once a majority of the citizenry sees no point in supporting the status quo, all it takes is a small external force to topple the house of cards.

More and more people in the US don't see our country as worth saving.   Some of these folks are just crackpots, of course, who believe in conspiracy theories or weird Right- or Left-Wing philosophies.   We have to expect that, of course.

But the average Joe, who gets screwed by a PayDay loan, a title pawn loan, raked over by a credit card company, and then screwed by "Rachael from Card Services" - what about HIM?   He tried to play by the rules, worked hard, and made bad choices - choices that only 40 years ago would be illegal to offer in this country.    We stopped protecting Joe under the Rubrik of "Free  Enterprise" and "De-Regulation".

Hell, we even allow people to build houses in mudslide zones.   And when State Agencies try to map where mudslides are likely to occur, monied business interests shut them down so that that "Free Enterprise" and the right to bury people under 30 feet of mud is not impinged.  If you are thinking about buying a "mountaintop view" home in North Carolina, be aware that the State is intentionally preventing you from knowing whether your house will slide down that mountain - thanks to pressure from Real Estate Agents and land developers.

Some Democracy, eh?

Ahh... but nuthin' can be done about it.  Our hands are tied.   Special interests rule the day, and besides, only fools are scammed by these sort of folks, right?

Wrong.   More and more of us are retiring on our savings.   As we get older, we will be stewards of large sums of money that we will need to survive.  And as we lose our faculties, we will be rich, juicy targets for scam artists of one sort or another.

But, since the scam artists of all sorts contribute heavily to election campaigns, they can get "their man" elected, usually on a platform of "social issues" that appeal to his gerrymandered electorate.   The social issues are never resolved (by design, of course, you need a social issue like abortion to FESTER if you want to get elected).   But the "regulations" that hinder your donors are repealed - or modified to have the reverse effect as intended.

And every day our country devolves into "I've got mine, Jack, Fuck You!"

And one more citizen gets ripped off, and decides that voting doesn't matter and that our government isn't worth saving.

This is how civilization collapses.  Not the Taliban.   Not the Russians.   Rot from within.