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Automated app helps ordinary citizens sue pesky robocall scammers

Nobody likes robocalls, the automated phone calls which are the bane of both the Federal Communications Commission and, well, every human with a phone. The average American citizen suffers through an estimated average of 18 robocalls every single month. In many cases, these robocalls try to scam the call recipient out of their hard-earned money, with losses adding up to billions of dollars each year. Could the answer to robocalls be more robots?

It may sound unlikely but Joshua Browder, the legal-tech whiz kid behind the DoNotPay parking ticket-fighting A.I., has created a new robo-tool with robocalls in its sights. Not only could it ultimately help stop you from receiving them; it could actually help you sue the callers for up to $3,000 per robocall they make. Heck, at those kinds of prices you might even grow to love the computerized auto-dial messages.

“I got four robocalls on Christmas Day,” Browder, whose work we have covered before, told Digital Trends. “It was then that I realized that large companies, such as AT&T, had failed to protect consumers. Instead, focused on making money — like selling data — corporations and governments have failed to solve the problem. I decided that only when the scammers start losing money themselves would the problem end.”

In fact, as with so many of the problems Browder sets out to help solve, the legal framework is already in place to solve robocalls legally. Lawyers are already making millions of dollars suing these scammers, but the average person is none the wiser as to how they can do this. DoNotPay’s Robo Revenge service is an automated system that gives power back to the proverbial man or woman on the street.

“The next time you receive a spam call, you can generate a virtual DoNotPay credit card,” Browder explained. “This card is not tied to a person’s identity and is issued in our name.
You provide the DoNotPay card to the robocaller and wait for them to run a transaction. Our systems use the transaction information to get the scammer’s contact details. Using these details, DoNotPay walks you through how to sue them for up to $3,000 per violation under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), including generating demand letters and court filing documents — all automatically.”

No wonder Browder is the patron saint of legal tech. Unless you’re a phone scammer, that is!

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Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
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