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Robocall Legal Advocate Leaks Customer Data — Krebs on Security

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A California company that helps telemarketing firms avoid getting sued for violating a federal law that seeks to curb robocalls has leaked the phone numbers, email addresses and passwords of all its customers, as well as the mobile phone numbers and other data on people who have hired lawyers to go after telemarketers.

The Blacklist Alliance provides technologies and services to marketing firms concerned about lawsuits under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a 1991 law that restricts the making of telemarketing calls through the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and artificial or prerecorded voice messages. The TCPA prohibits contact with consumers — even via text messages — unless the company has “prior express consent” to contact the consumer.

With statutory damages of $500 to $1,500 per call, the TCPA has prompted a flood of lawsuits over the years. From the telemarketer’s perspective, the TCPA can present something of a legal minefield in certain situations, such as when a phone number belonging to someone who’d previously given consent gets reassigned to another subscriber.

Enter The Blacklist Alliance, which promises to help marketers avoid TCPA legal snares set by “professional plaintiffs and class action attorneys seeking to cash in on the TCPA.” According to the Blacklist, one of the “dirty tricks” used by TCPA “frequent filers” includes “phone flipping,” or registering multiple prepaid cell phone numbers to receive calls intended for the person to whom a number was previously registered.

Lawyers representing TCPA claimants typically redact their clients’ personal information from legal filings to protect them from retaliation and to keep their contact information private. The Blacklist Alliance researches TCPA cases to uncover the phone numbers of plaintiffs and sells this data in the form of list-scrubbing services to telemarketers.

“TCPA predators operate like malware,” The Blacklist explains on its website. “Our Litigation Firewall isolates the infection and protects you from harm. Scrub against active plaintiffs, pre litigation complainers, active attorneys, attorney associates, and more. Use our robust API to seamlessly scrub these high-risk numbers from your outbound campaigns and inbound calls, or adjust your suppression settings to fit your individual requirements and appetite for risk.”

Unfortunately for the Blacklist paying customers and for people represented by attorneys filing TCPA lawsuits, the Blacklist’s own Web site until late last week leaked reams of data to anyone with a Web browser. Thousands of documents, emails, spreadsheets, images and the names tied to countless mobile phone numbers all could be viewed or downloaded without authentication from the domain theblacklist.click.

The directory also included all 388 Blacklist customer API keys, as well as each customer’s phone number, employer, username and password (scrambled with the relatively weak MD5 password hashing algorithm).

The leaked Blacklist customer database points to various companies you might expect to see using automated calling systems to generate business, including real estate and life insurance providers, credit repair companies and a long list of online advertising firms and individual digital marketing specialists.

The very first account in the leaked Blacklist user database corresponds to its CEO Seth Heyman, an attorney in southern California. Mr. Heyman did not respond to multiple requests for comment, although The Blacklist stopped leaking its database not long after that contact request.

Two other accounts marked as administrators were among the third and sixth registered users in the database; those correspond to two individuals at Riip Digital, a California-based email marketing concern that serves a diverse range of clients in the lead generation business, from debt relief and timeshare companies, to real estate firms and CBD vendors.

Riip Digital did not respond to requests for comment. But According to Spamhaus, an anti-spam group relied upon by many Internet service providers (ISPs) to block unsolicited junk email, the company has a storied history of so-called “snowshoe spamming,” which involves junk email purveyors who try to avoid spam filters and blacklists by spreading their spam-sending systems across a broad swath of domains and Internet addresses.

The irony of this data leak is that marketers who constantly scrape the Web for consumer contact data may not realize the source of the information, and end up feeding it into automated systems that peddle dubious wares and services via automated phone calls and text messages. To the extent this data is used to generate sales leads that are then sold to others, such a leak could end up causing more legal problems for The Blacklist’s customers.

The Blacklist and their clients talk a lot about technologies that they say separate automated telephonic communications from dime-a-dozen robocalls, such as software that delivers recorded statements that are manually selected by a live agent. But for your average person, this is likely a distinction without a difference.

Robocalls are permitted for political candidates, but beyond that if the recording is a sales message and you haven’t given your written permission to get calls from the company on the other end, the call is illegal. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), companies are using auto-dialers to send out thousands of phone calls every minute for an incredibly low cost.

In fiscal year 2019, the FTC received 3.78 million complaints about robocalls. Readers may be able to avoid some marketing calls by registering their mobile number with the Do Not Call registry, but the list appears to do little to deter all automated calls — particularly scam calls that spoof their real number. If and when you do receive robocalls, consider reporting them to the FTC.

Some wireless providers now offer additional services and features to help block automated calls. For example, AT&T offers wireless customers its free Call Protect app, which screens incoming calls and flags those that are likely spam calls. See the FCC’s robocall resource page for links to resources at your mobile provider. In addition, there are a number of third-party mobile apps designed to block spammy calls, such as Nomorobo and TrueCaller.

Obviously, not all telemarketing is spammy or scammy. I have friends and relatives who’ve worked at non-profits that rely a great deal on fundraising over the phone. Nevertheless, readers who are fed up with telemarketing calls may find some catharsis in the Jolly Roger Telephone Company, which offers subscribers a choice of automated bots that keep telemarketers engaged for several minutes. The service lets subscribers choose which callers should get the bot treatment, and then records the result.

For my part, the volume of automated calls hitting my mobile number got so bad that I recently enabled a setting on my smart phone to simply send to voicemail all calls from numbers that aren’t already in my contacts list. This may not be a solution for everyone, but since then I haven’t received a single spammy jingle.



Tags: Call Protect, Jolly Roger Telephone Company, NoMoRobo, Riip Digital, robocalls, Seth Heyman, spamhaus, TCPA, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, The Blacklist Alliance, TrueCaller

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Debt Consolidation: Market 2021 also Industry is Booming Worldwide with Key Players

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Debt Consolidation Market With COVID19-Pandemic Impact Analysis:

Debt Consolidation Market 2021 this report is including with the COVID19 Outbreak Impact analysis of key points influencing the growth of the market. Also, Debt Consolidation Market (By major key players, By Types, By Applications, and Leading Regions) Segments outlook, Business assessment, Competition scenario, Trends and Forecast by Upcoming Year’s. The study of the Debt Consolidation report is done based on the significant research methodology that provides the analytical inspection of the global market based on various segments the Industry is alienated into also the summary and advance size of the marketplace owing to the various outlook possibilities. The report also gives 360-degree overview of the competitive landscape of the industries. SWOT analysis has been used to understand the strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in front of the businesses. Thus, helping the companies to understand the threats and challenges in front of the businesses. Debt Consolidation market is showing steady growth and CAGR is expected to improve during the forecast period.

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This Free report sample includes:
  1. A brief introduction to the Debt Consolidation Market research report.
  2. Graphical introduction of the regional analysis.
  3. Top players in the Debt Consolidation Market with their revenue analysis.
  4. Selected illustrations of Debt Consolidation Market insights and trends.
  5. Example pages from the Debt Consolidation Market report.


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The Major Players in the Debt Consolidation Market.

Mozo
Canstar
Credit Repair Australia
Australian Debt Agreements
Think Money
Debt Negotiators
The DCS Group has
Debt Cutter
Sort My Debt
Clear Credit Solutions
Australian Debt Solvers
Australian Lending Center

 

The Debt Consolidation Market Report Helps You in Understanding:

  1. Dominant and emerging trend analysis, elaborate references of key drivers, restraints, threats and challenges besides also harping on product categorization as well as industry chain analysis that collectively influence uniform growth
  2. The Debt Consolidation market report lends amplified focus on important business priorities and investment choices preferred by key players as well as contributing players
  3. The Debt Consolidation market report discusses at length the core growth pattern and market dimensions, besides also harping on decoding the competition spectrum for thorough business discretion

Key Businesses Segmentation of Debt Consolidation Market

on the basis of types, the Debt Consolidation market from 2015 to 2026 is primarily split into:
Credit Card Debt
Overdrafts or Loans
Others

on the basis of applications, the Debt Consolidation market from 2015 to 2026 covers:
Enterprise
Private

Some of the key factors contributing to the Debt Consolidation market growth include:

Regional Debt Consolidation Market Analysis:

It could be divided into two different sections: one for regional production analysis and the other for regional consumption analysis. Here, the analysts share gross margin, price, revenue, production, CAGR, and other factors that indicate the growth of all regional markets studied in the report. covering

RegionCountries
North AmericaU.S. & Canada
EuropeU.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Hungary, BENELUX, NORDIC, Rest of Europe
Asia-PacificChina, India, Japan, South Korea

 

Australia, New Zealand, Rest of Asia-Pacific

Latin AmericaBrazil, Mexico, Argentina, Rest of Latin America
Middle East and AfricaIsrael, GCC, South Africa, Rest of Middle East and Africa
  • Growing per capita disposable income
  • Favorable for youth Demographics
  • Technology advancement

In terms of COVID 19 impact, the Debt Consolidation market report also includes following data points:

  • Impact on Debt Consolidation market Size
  • End User Trend, Preferences and Budget Impact of Debt Consolidation market
  • Regulatory Framework/Government Policies
  • Key Players Strategy to Tackle Negative Impact of Debt Consolidation market
  • New Opportunity Window of Debt Consolidation market

Key Question Answered in Debt Consolidation Market Report.

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Debt Consolidation Market?
  • What are the different marketing and distribution channels?
  • What is the current CAGR of the Debt Consolidation Market?
  • What are the Debt Consolidation market opportunities in front of the market?
  • What are the highest competitors in Debt Consolidation market?
  • What are the key outcomes of SWOT and Porter’s five techniques?
  • What is the Debt Consolidation market size and growth rate in the forecast period?

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Major Points from Table of Contents:

There are 13 Chapters to thoroughly display the Debt Consolidation market. This report included the analysis of market overview, market characteristics, industry chain, competition landscape, historical and future data by types, applications, and regions.

  • Chapter 1: Debt Consolidation Market Overview, Product Overview, Market Segmentation, Market Overview of Regions, Market Dynamics, Limitations, Opportunities and Industry News and Policies.
  • Chapter 2: Debt Consolidation Industry Chain Analysis, Upstream Raw Material Suppliers, Major Players, Production Process Analysis, Cost Analysis, Market Channels, and Major Downstream Buyers.
  • Chapter 3: Value Analysis, Production, Growth Rate and Price Analysis by Type of Debt Consolidation.
  • Chapter 4: Downstream Characteristics, Consumption and Market Share by Application of Debt Consolidation.
  • Chapter 5: Production Volume, Price, Gross Margin, and Revenue ($) of Debt Consolidation by Regions.
  • Chapter 6: Debt Consolidation Production, Consumption, Export, and Import by Regions.
  • Chapter 7: Debt Consolidation Market Status and SWOT Analysis by Regions.
  • Chapter 8: Competitive Landscape, Product Introduction, Company Profiles, Market Distribution Status by Players of Debt Consolidation.
  • Chapter 9: Debt Consolidation Market Analysis and Forecast by Type and Application.
  • Chapter 10: Debt Consolidation Market Analysis and Forecast by Regions.
  • Chapter 11: Debt Consolidation Industry Characteristics, Key Factors, New Entrants SWOT Analysis, Investment Feasibility Analysis.
  • Chapter 12: Debt Consolidation Market Conclusion of the Whole Report.
  • Chapter 13: Appendix Such as Methodology and Data Resources of Debt Consolidation Market Research.

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Teams eliminated during the NFL’s Divisional Round face major offseason questions

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It’s brutal to lose in the Divisional Round of the 2020-2021 NFL Playoffs — it leaves most of the teams that get eliminated with pressing questions. Questions ranging from easy ones (“How do we take the next step”) to difficult ones (“How do we keep the salary cap from tearing us apart next year?”) to downright existential ones (“Is everything we are trying to accomplish doomed to failure?”). The Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Rams, Cleveland Browns, and New Orleans Saints are grappling with those questions now that their 2020 seasons have come to a close.

Here’s an NFL Recap look at what lies ahead for the four eliminated teams from Divisional Round action that came so close to the Super Bowl, and yet are still so far away.

Editor’s note — bookmark the main page on Pro Football Network for all of Mike’s thoughts in the full NFL Recap beyond this Conference Championship preview!

The first eliminated team of the NFL Divisional Round: Los Angeles Rams

The Rams enter the offseason $22 million over the salary cap. Their in-house free agent list is led by top defensive backs Troy Hill and Darious Williams, both of whom will be expensive to keep. And the Rams lack a first-round pick because of the Jalen Ramsey trade (which feels like it happened two days after the Herschel Walker trade). Other than that, everything is peachy-keen.

The Rams will have trouble retaining second-tier in-house free agents like center Austin Blythe, receiver Josh Reynolds, or tight end Gerald Everett, let alone someone like Williams unless they perform some serious credit repair. Look for an offseason of restructured contracts, free agent departures, and very little good news as the Rams try to keep their playoff window from slamming shut.

The second eliminated team of the NFL Divisional Round: Baltimore Ravens

Lamar Jackson needs to become a more consistent passer outside the numbers. The Ravens’ offense needs a legitimate Plan B when they fall behind by more than a touchdown or when their option running game is bottled up.

And the whole team needs to find ways to avoid the type of catastrophic big-game failures that get them eliminated in NFL Playoff games. Red zone collapses, silly mistakes, and sudden reversals in which a long drive turns into seven points for the opponent have destroyed them.

Featured | Valdovinos’ 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft

The Ravens must also keep daring to be different. They must avoid the trap of thinking that Jackson or their offense has some special deficiency that will doom them to playoff also-ran status. Jackson and the Ravens are easy targets for lazy skepticism because they are so unique. If Jackson were a pocket passer in a conventional offense, he could go 8-8 for years while facing only moderate criticism while earning dump trucks full of money to almost win Wild Card games.

The Ravens have quantitative problems, not qualitative ones. They are a few tweaks, not an overhaul, away from the Super Bowl. Fortunately, they are also one of the best organizations in the league when it comes to sticking to their long-range plan.

Sights set on next year: Cleveland Browns

Going from 0-16 to 11-5 is easy, especially when it takes three years to do it. Going from 11-5 to the Super Bowl is much harder because the Browns will be swimming against the tides of the salary cap, draft order, and a harder 2021 schedule.

Self-scouting is crucial for an NFL team at the Browns’ stage of development and eliminated in the Divisional Round. They cannot fool themselves into thinking that they are “one player away” or that further improvements will just happen automatically.

The Browns’ salary cap situation is pretty good. It’s about $24 million in on-paper space, much of which will likely be spent on extensions, even if the team takes another year to wait-and-see on Baker Mayfield (guard Wyatt Teller, for example, is in the final year of his rookie contract).

Extra third and fourth-round picks from past trades will help spackle some holes. And Odell Beckham returns next year, which is almost certainly a good thing. The Browns sorely need a receiver who can stretch the field, and Beckham is only about 15-20% as much of a loopy distraction as your father-in-law insists he is.

The Browns should be at least as good in 2021 as they were in 2020. That’s fine, so long as an organization with zero history of sustaining success realizes that any team that doesn’t get ahead in the NFL ends up falling behind.

Sights set on next year: New Orleans Saints

The Saints are an eliminated team, and will be up Schitt’s Creek the moment Drew Brees retires from the NFL. They’re so deep in cap debt ($95 million entering the 2021 offseason) that the whole team will have to live in a motel room in a Canadian countryside town full of quirky characters just to make ends meet.

The Saints face the greatest cap crisis in NFL history, and Recap doesn’t have the bandwidth or word count to dig into the macroeconomics of what they will have to do to field a roster next year. Let’s just say that we will get to see what the Taysom Hill/Alvin Kamara option package looks like when half of the remaining roster is earning the league minimum.

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Top scams of 2020; what to watch out for in 2021

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CHICAGO (WLS) — The Better Business Bureau released its top 10 scam list for 2020. No doubt these will be things to watch out for in 2021.

Some of the most common were fake websites tricking consumers into making a purchase who then never get the product. This is something the I-Team has exposed during the pandemic with people never getting the Personal protective equipment they ordered.

RELATED: How to spot phishing scam from fake Amazon emails about shipping

Another involved the sale of counterfeit products.

Employment or job offer scams where you’re possibly asked to send money to make money were also popular.

It’s also worth mentioning all of these include “COVID-19” related scams which on its own came in at number four.

RELATED: Avoid Falling For Coronavirus Scams

One thing to always remember to avoid getting scammed is to thoroughly research websites before you send anyone money.

Top 10 Scams of 2020:

1. Online Purchase – fake websites
2. Counterfeit Products (Clothing, electronics, shoes, purses, etc.)
3. Employment – scam job offers
4. COVID Related Scams – (These may be much higher – COVID is sited in other categories)
5. Debt Collections – invoices, calls or emails for fake debts

6. Advance Fee Loan – the promise of a “loan” – after you pay fees
7. Phishing Scams – (Clicking on scam links can lead to malware – imposter scams etc.)
8. Credit Card – Includes fake emails and calls claiming there’s a problem with your account in order to steal money and information – or fake credit card debt consolidation
9. Credit Repair/Debt Relief
10. Identity Theft -can we say not a matter of if but when it will happen to you?

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