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Friday Fun Thread for May 26, 2023

Be advised: this thread is not for serious in-depth discussion of weighty topics (we have a link for that), this thread is not for anything Culture War related. This thread is for Fun. You got jokes? Share 'em. You got silly questions? Ask 'em.

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I see Americans complaining online about how many spam telephone calls they are getting, to the point they don't even pick up the phone when the caller is unknown.

This is pretty alien to me; I live in Sweden and have literally never gotten a spam call in my life. (Maybe the reason for this is that the scammers naturally won't bother learning Swedish?)

So, potential silly lifehack: why not get a foreign telephone number from e.g. Denmark or something, and then never get spammed again? Presumably your calls will be more expensive as you'd be paying the international rate constantly, but this can be ameliorated by getting a plan where that's cheaper.

Sweden is probably too small of a market, it's smaller than Moscow alone. I get a few spam calls a week, about two thirds are robocalls and the rest are split between actual humans trying to sell me something and scammers.

One other explanation is that Swedish service providers are more aggressive about terminating spammers' accounts. How easy is it to get a burner phone number in Sweden?

That and American law enforcement is kinda lax on consumer protection laws. A lot of consumer products are legal here and illegal elsewhere, a lot of chemicals are forbidden in foods in Europe that are perfectly fine in America, and Europe takes consumer privacy much more seriously than Americans do. As such, the odds of what’s being done being illegal, the person getting caught, and serious consequences following are slim to none in the USA.

The introduction of the Do Not Call List more or less ended "legitimate" spam calling in the US. The remaining spam calls are almost all scams, which would be illegal regardless of the medium of communication. The reason they are so prevalent here is that VOIP technology has made it extremely cost-efficient for foreign actors (mostly in India) to operate outside the reach of US law enforcement. If someone tried operating these kind of boiler rooms inside the US using a POTS system they'd be shut down pretty quickly. Overseas with Google Voice there's little the FTC can do but warn people.