Answer? Don’t Answer? Getting Mixed Messages in Michigan
Well, what are we supposed to do? We keep being told, do not answer calls from numbers you don't recognize. But, in 2020, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, says "answer the call", in promoting their contact tracing.
In a year where countless Michiganders are dealing with Covid-19, robo-calls, while annoying, and in some extreme cases, potentially criminal, are more an annoyance for most of us.
But the point is valid. Officials are sending out a mixed message. It's a question being posed today by the Detroit Free-Press.
At the same time, the Michigan Attorney General's office is touting a big settlement that is supposed to drive a major player out of robo-calling business.
The Attorney General’s office used complaints sent to the office by the public to trace illegal robocalls regarding Social Security Administration scams and auto-warranty scams to MODOK LLC, which had allegedly been carrying foreign illegal robocall traffic into the United States and on to Michigan residents. - Michigan Attorney General's office release
The Attorney General's office is cracking down on Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) providers because it says these businesses are the major conduits for scammers and others to cheaply and effectively make millions of illegal robocalls within minutes to consumers all over the country.
But even in their instructions as to how to complain, there's a mixed message.
"The best way to deal with robocalls is to simply hang up or don’t answer the phone if you don’t recognize the number." (Okay, unless it's the Health Department doing contact tracing) "However, to aid investigators in their efforts to hold robocallers accountable, certain pieces of information are extremely helpful to the department’s efforts to investigate, particularly when submitted to the Attorney General’s office as part of an official complaint.
By the way, the Detroit Free-Press points out an interesting piece of comic book pop culture. The name of the business in this shutdown is MODOK, LLC. is also the name of a Marvel Comics supervillain.