No more making payments by telephone?

Does anybody have any knowledge, or opinions, or speculations, about this?

I just saw this article today: Phone Fraud Gets Harder as FTC Bans Payment Methods Favored by Crooks on NBC News web site.

TL;DR: The FTC has banned telemarketers from using three particular methods of requesting payment by phone, which are commonly used by telemarketing fraudsters to rip people off. One of the banned methods involves asking for someone’s bank account and routing numbers, by which the fraudster can create an electronic check and clean out the mark’s bank account.

It’s a bit unclear from the article if such electronic checks (created by a third party, not the bank account owner), given only the account and routing numbers, are now banned across the board, or only when done by telemarketers.

But wait! This is a common method for making perfectly legitimate payments. For example, I can pay my credit card bills with just a phone call this way. It’s unclear from the article if that is now banned, but it sort of sounds like it. (Otherwise, how are legitimate pay-by-phone cases to be distinguished from fraudulent pay-by-phone cases, and who makes that decision, and when?)

Anybody else heard anything about this? Know anything about it? Or, read the linked article and have an opinion on what it’s actually saying there?

A bit of additional clarification: The article seems to state that these payment methods may no longer be used by telemarketers. The logic is that only fraudulent telemarketers, not honest ones, request payment by these methods.

But my questions still stands: Who decides what cases are honest and which aren’t? And how? When such a check is submitted to a bank, how does the bank know if it’s an honest request that they should pay? If I pay a bill by phone, how would the bank know if it was originated by a telemarketer, or by someone I have an existing business relationship with? That’s why I wonder if payment by phone is just banned across the board, even though the article doesn’t say that.

ETA: From the article:

Really? :confused: :eek: Does this say that if there is some billing error or similar mistake, even when I make a legitimate bill payment, that I have no recourse to have that corrected (other than to complain to the biller and trust them to be honest and competent in giving me some kind of adjustment)?