The “Race” For Security

, , , , | Right | February 13, 2019

Me: “Thank you for calling [Bank]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “I need my balance.”

Me: “I’ll be happy to assist. I do need to verify your information.”

(Other than his name, he does not answer any security questions correctly.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but for security reasons, you will need to contact a branch during business hours.”

Caller: “No, you will help me now.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but…”

Caller: “No, you listen here. You sound like a black guy. I’ll go to every branch and tell the managers you called me a cracker and you have been racist.”

Me: “Absolutely, sir. You do what you need to do; however, I should let you know that this call is being recorded and they can pull this call and listen to it.”

Caller: *hangs up*

Thoughts And Prayers Cause No Actions

, , , | Legal | February 13, 2019

(I am new at an office that deals with contracts. I get my first notification of a customer that’s passed away, through an email from one of the heirs.)

Me: “[Coworker], it seems [Person on Contract] has passed away. Can I close the contract?”

Coworker: “Did they include a death certificate?”

Me: “No, but they did include some sort of prayer leaflet and the invitation for the cremation.”

Coworker: “No, that won’t do. We have to have a death certificate.”

Me: “Really? I mean, isn’t this proof enough?”

Coworker: “Nope, it’s not.”

Me: “Why would anyone try to fake a death?”

Coworker: “Ah, blissfully naive [My Name]. I was once like you… until the day someone came to the office and tried to close an account with fake prayers and fake mourning cards.”

Me: “No way! Someone did that?! How did you find out it was a fake?”

Coworker: “We didn’t, but City Hall did. They found out the person was still alive… when that person tried to claim the benefits for the heirs… themselves.”

(Turns out the lady in question wanted to emigrate and burn all bridges so she wouldn’t have to pay rent, etc. The heirs applied for special benefits to “fly the body to the country of birth,” which was granted. However, the “deceased” thought it was okay to claim this herself as travelling expenses and that no one would recognise her. My coworker was not informed of what happened to the lady, but I hope it involved a little room and a huge fine.)

You Were Short With Me, So I’ll Be Short With You

, , , , , | Right | February 12, 2019

(A regular customer of mine comes in on a busy Saturday morning for her monthly trim. She is very particular, but we get along really well. I have been cutting her hair for at least ten years. After I cut her hair, I ask her to feel it, show her the back with a hand mirror, let her hold the mirror and look at it herself, and she confirms she is satisfied with her trim… except for one thing. She wants the back shorter. This is a usual request, but this time she specifically said she wanted it left longer, so I am surprised when she asks me to go shorter. I tell her to give it a try for a couple days and if she still wants to go shorter, I will do it for free. She agrees and leaves the salon. Two hours later, she comes back, red-faced.)

Me: “Hi! Did you decide you wanted to go shorter after all?”

Customer: “No! You cut my hair way too short! This is terrible! How dare you do this to me? You used to be such a good hairdresser!”

Me: *stunned* “I’m very sorry you feel that w—“

Customer: *cutting me off* “You stop talking and give me my money back! Not another word!”

Me: “I understa—“


(I hand her the money and she leaves, and I think it’s all over. But wait! There’s more! Two weeks later, she comes in and demands “the free haircut” I apparently promised her and makes a big fuss about how long I left her hair. I gently ask her to not return to my salon, as I no longer feel I could meet her needs since she so bluntly told me I suck at my job. She shouts at me, and tells me this is unacceptable because:)

Customer: “I live so close to here, but you want me to find a new salon?”

(I mean, we live in a city with a thousand salons, sooo… Yes, yes, I do.)

This Scam Is Copied The World Over

, , , , | Legal | February 11, 2019

While at work one day, the doorbell rang. Our receptionist was on maternity leave and our office is so small the company hadn’t bothered to find a replacement, so we all just kind of filled in.

One of my coworkers went to answer it. A minute later she came back with a look of confusion and concern on her face. She told the woman sitting next to me that the guy at the door wanted to see our copy machines, and she wasn’t sure if that was okay. Thanks to Not Always Right, I recognized the attempted scam and told her to send him away. She didn’t want to — she’s too nice — so I said I would.

I have to admit, this guy had his part down cold, the whole, “Aw, shucks. I’m no harm to anyone, just doin’ my job; help a fella out,” persona, and if I hadn’t already heard of the scam, I may have actually agreed. I told him firmly that there was nobody here authorized to let him in. He backpedaled, saying that he didn’t actually need to see the machines, he just needed to know what kind they were. I told him that we had nobody here authorized to give out that information. Then he asked if he could have the receptionist’s card. (So you can pretend to have spoken to her? Sure, buddy.) I told him the phone number for the head office was on our website, and that he could call them with any questions, and shut the door in his face.

So, thanks, Not Always Right!

Committing Fraud To The Letter

, , , , , | Right | February 8, 2019

(I am working in the collections department for an energy supplier when I get a call from a woman regarding a letter she says she received. She says she has a question about it. She gives me a reference number and I pull up the account.)

Me: “I’ve got the account up. May I ask your name?

(The customer gives me her name, and it is the same as on the account. I then ask her to confirm address and DOB, both of which match what is on the account.)

Me: “Thank you for confirming those details. What was your query?”

Caller: “Yes, what is this letter all about?”

Me: “There is a balance on the account. It needs to be paid. You owe [amount].”

Caller: “No, I don’t.”

Me: “I’m not seeing any payments since [date].”

Caller: “No, you don’t understand. This isn’t my account.”

Me: “Your name is on the account and you confirmed the address.”

Caller: “No, no. This letter isn’t for me. This is my friend’s account. My name is [Different Name].”

Me: “I’m sorry, madam, I can no longer discuss the account with you without the customer’s permission. Is the customer there?”

Caller: “You just broke the data protection law. You disclosed my friend’s details.”

Me: “Actually, madam, you committed fraud.”

Caller: “No, I didn’t. I never said I was the customer. You broke the law; now you’re going to lose your job. I’m going to report you.”

Me: “Actually, madam, when I asked what your name was, you told me it was [Customer]. When I asked what your address was, you said it was [Customer’s address], and when I asked you to confirm your date of birth, you told me it was [Customer’s DOB]. You pretended to be your friend, which is fraud.”

Caller: “No, I didn’t. If you heard that, that’s your fault. I’m going to report you!”

Me: “You are welcome to report this to the data commissioner. I’ll get you the details, if you like. We are obligated to report this incident, as well, and will send the recording of this call to prove what was said.”

Caller: “How dare you say that to me?! Get me your manager!”

(I got my manager, who took over the call. My manager promised to listen to the call and arranged to call the woman back once she had done so. Later that day, my manager came and spoke to me. She listened to the call and confirmed that the customer definitely committed fraud — she clearly said her name, address, and DOB were the customer’s. My manager gave me an anti-fraud form to fill in so it could be passed onto the police. During the call, the woman gave me her full name, and she gave my manager several phone numbers when they arranged the call back, one of which was a work number. My manager also got the woman’s address because the customer wanted me to write her a formal apology for accusing her of committing fraud. All these details went on the form we sent to the police.)

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