Ask your neighbor.
Average Joes and Janes can make big bucks running small telecom carriers out of their homes. These smaller players have driven down the cost of long-distance calling — but cheap calls come at a cost.
Robocallers love ‘em
As The Wall Street Journal reported, small carriers can land in hot water relaying spam calls into the US from overseas.
The ne’er-do-wells weaseled at least $38m from victims in 2019.
An entrepreneur named Nick Palumbo was making $266k/month at one point — his businesses routed hundreds of millions of calls over 38k phone lines.
The calls could end it all
The authorities say one of Palumbo’s companies became the largest conduit for Social Security phone scams (he said he didn’t know they were frauds).
Regulators don’t require carriers to police high-volume customers, but that could change. In July, the FCC asked for public input on ramping up efforts to shut down robocalls.
It won’t be easy.
Gail Ennis, inspector general at the Social Security Administration, told the Journal that it could look like Whack-a-Mole: “The worry for us is of course that the volume just shifts to another player. That very well may be what’s happening.”