[Video Description: Tomeka King, a dark-skinned woman with her hair pulled up, is shown with dark glasses and a black tee shirt in front of a light background. TK signs the article.]

Over the years multiple articles about Sorenson, Purple (now ZP Better Together along with ZVRS), ZVRS, CAAG VRS, Global VRS–along with the history of VRS fraud, the Federal Communications Commission [FCC], and Convo Relay–have surfaced. Not all articles have a common theme. However, concerns from consumers, interpreters, and third parties about the authenticity of the VRS industry are ongoing. Hundreds of people have expressed concerns about ethical practices, suspected fraud, abuse of VRS services, and more. 

As many people remember back in 2009, the VRS industry was shaken when fraud counts were filed against several providers. People may not realize that whistleblower protection is what made those investigations possible. Whistleblowers were reporting fraudulent behaviors to the FCC (at the time there were no auditing strategies for TRS companies), which included making deceptive phone calls using their VRS services. With the charges of fraud, it was proven that providers were submitting “minutes” obtained through illegal activities and being paid approximately $390 dollars per hour at the time for all calls that were billed. 

Deaf Vee Journal consulted with Roukla Loube [RLSA] to inquire about the process of reporting fraud, waste, and abuse. RLSA has provided a link for third parties to submit concerns: https://rolkaloube.atlassian.net/servicedesk/customer/portals. Once on the website, go to the bottom of the page where you can begin the reporting process. If you are concerned about your identity being revealed, you can do it anonymously. 

It is also important to file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission [FCC]. If you do this at the same time you submit a report to RLSA, RLSA will be able to follow up with the FCC to make sure it is being looked into. The FCC’s website takes you to the Office of the Inspector General [OIG] to report fraud, waste, and abuse (clickable link).

If your concerns have to do with unsafe work environments or abuse of employees, check out your state’s Department of Labor and Employment (or similar). If you live in a different state from where your workplace is based, it is important to follow the state where you get your paycheck from. The state where you get your paycheck from is also the state responsible for the protection of your employment rights. You also can file an anonymous report with the state.