It was by asking the question on Gay Globe Media’s Facebook page that I was stunned to discover the number of people who have been victims of these incessant phone calls, most of them from the United States and made by robots who pass us pre-recorded messages either to try to obtain personal information, or to obtain payments for false debts or outright for advertising.
In fact, just about everyone responded to the same thing and be exasperated by the volume of these calls. Isabelle, for example, receives up to 6 per day whereas at the Gay Globe office, we receive 2 per day for months, always at the same hours.
These calls poison people’s lives because, in addition to being numerous and incessant, they sometimes occur in people who have certain disabilities making their travel to the phone more difficult or, as in the case of Catherine, these calls are produce at home while she is a natural caregiver for her terminally ill mother of a degenerative disease. One can easily imagine the stress that these calls can cause.
Gay Globe contacted the CRTC on January 12 and had a meeting with a spokesperson for the Canadian agency responsible for the management and legislation of these phone calls. First, Ariane informed us that contrary to many beliefs, calls from abroad to Canada are subject to Canadian law and are subject to the legal consequences of Canada. She also recommends some actions …
First, it recommends that our telephone numbers be included on the National Do Not Call List at https://www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca/insnum-regnum-eng.
Then, after registering and spending 30 days, or if you are already registered, report each phone number that contacts you at https://www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca/plt-cmp-eng which will trace the origin numbers. They can always be different but the same computer can be at the origin. The CRTC will then take action against the caller.
Finally, if these calls involve fraud, attempts to obtain your personal information, or make you believe that you have unpaid debts, report the phone number to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center at http://www.canadianfraud.ca. antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca, it is the RCMP that will then manage this complaint.
Ariane also wanted to explain that these calls require that we answer to activate and validate our phone number. « Some people answer and say hello, hello or lose patience and scream or worse, do the 0 to talk to an operator. This is the worst thing to do because the number becomes active and they will not stop calling. It is best to never answer a number that does not know the area code and let the answering machine do its work. After a while, the robot will classify your number as inactive. « That’s what Mireille of Montreal did, after three weeks, plus one call.