This isn’t really much of a threat, but speaking of spam [stderr] I got this phone call the other day and managed to record most of it with my smartphone.
I believe that the systems the scammers use will not deliver the entire message unless they hear some sound on the line; they don’t want to be dropping evidence in people’s voicemail. Note also the robotic voice:
Someone who is not experienced with how things work, or who has no legal protection, might fall for it. These sorts of scams prey on the uneducated, illegal, unsophisticated, and elderly. I hate these people with a great hate; they intermittently reach out to me and remind me that humanity sucks.
Back in the 90s I was at a USENIX where some guys from Bell Labs were talking about things they discovered doing “big data” analysis of all the phone call records. One of the them casually mentioned that they could spot the phone sweatshops very easily. Naturally, several people asked why they weren’t shut down for violating their terms of service and the reply was, “because they pay more than you do.” After that, I noticed that office phone banks don’t get robo-called; it’s only the home phone banks. And now it’s the smartphones, too. I’ve been surprised that the economics of VOIP haven’t made it such that robo-call centers are no longer profitable for the phone companies – they absolutely can detect them and shut them down; I doubt they are much of a profit center anymore, but it’d take effort from the phone companies and really they can’t be arsed.
The NSA knows who the robo-callers are, naturally. Want to verify that? You can get a robotic voice voice/phone/response script together that says you’re a fund-raiser for ISIS and you’re calling on behalf of the Republican Party and you are trying to help them destroy America and if they’re willing to pledge $19.95, they can help destroy America too. Then see how fast you’re shut down.
There are people in power in the US who are concerned which bathrooms people use, but they can’t be moved to care about large-infrastructure businesses that exist to rip people off – and then they’ll say “capitalism is good” and “regulation harms business.”