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10 Things Every Deaf and Hard-of Hearing Person Should Know About Fraud in VRS

The following are examples of fraud in the VRS industry–these are examples of manufactured minutes–minutes that are being billed which should not be billed:

1. Extending a call when it ends to generate more minutes. A call stops billing when the hearing person or the deaf person hangs up.

2. Doing surveys for a VRS company using deaf people working for a relay company surveying hearing people with a VI. (video interpreter)

3. Using privacy screens during an active call in process (except for voice-carry over situations)–this prevents the interpreter from knowing whether the deaf and hard-of-hearing person is participating in a call.

4. Processing calls in the same location – this is explicitly disallowed by the FCC as this is not a relay call, it is an interpreting situation. This is when a deaf or hard-of-hearing person should use VRI (Video Remote Interpreting)

5. Using deaf employees of a relay company to do telemarketing for an hearing company.

6. Expecting people to make calls as a condition of getting new phones.

7. Scheduling calls in advance by using advance reservations.

8. Fake or improper interpreting.

9. Paying someone to make a call to a relay provider.

10. International to international calls. This is not allowable. All calls must begin (originate) or end (terminate) in the United States in order to be billed.

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