Brooklyn Journal of International Law

First Page



Advancements in technology allow people to place phone calls half a world away via the internet. This technology has made it easier and cheaper for consumers to communicate, but it has also made it easier for scammers to reach more unsuspecting victims. In 2020, TrueCaller, an app designed to block scam phone calls, successfully blocked, and identified 31.3 billion spam calls in 20 countries. In the same year, Americans alone lost a total of USD $ 29.8 billion to scam calls. This Note argues that phone scams continue to be lucrative, in part, because criminal prosecutions of transnational crimes are difficult when concurrent jurisdiction exists. This Note suggests that countries, where phone scammers operate, ought to follow the international law obligation of aut dedere aut judicare (obligation to extradite or prosecute) and prosecute the scammers. The international community should work together to create task forces that support the prosecuting nations by training local law enforcement in investigatory techniques, providing resources—such as computer forensic equipment, and sharing information, such as victim records and intelligence.