Relay calls are placed through a special operator. Traditionally, a hearing or speech-impaired person types the words she wants to say on the keyboard of a device called a TTY, which is attached to her phone. She transmits the words to the operator, who speaks them to the person she is calling, then converts that personís response to text, which displays on the callerís TTY.
There is no charge to either the caller or the called party; telephone companies that provide these services are compensated through the federally administered Telecommunications Relay Services Fund.
Internet relay services work the same way, but the caller uses a computer instead of a phone and TTY. As crooks in other countries have discovered, Internet relay calls can be made to US telephone numbers from anywhere in the world for free. So theyíve started to exploit the service, calling US businesses to order goods and services and providing phony or stolen credit card numbers for payment.
Relay service operators are caught in the middle. Functioning almost as human telephone wires, their job is to transmit exactly what is said. Relay calls are required to be 100 percent confidential. The operators canít interfere with the calls or interject their opinions in the conversations, even if they suspect that scams are occurring, and they canít report their suspicions to anyone.
I'm getting to the point with all the scams, spam, viruses, malware, etc, out there to thinking we should just bar places like Nigeria from access to the Internet in the United States until they get their shit together.