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What’s The Opposite Of Artificial Intelligence?

, , , | Right | June 15, 2022

I am having a rather boring day at work, and then the phone rings.

Me: “[Office], this is [My Name]; how may I help you?”

I am greeted by a very perky but slightly artificial-sounding voice.

Caller: “Hi! This is Bob Hilton calling from—”

Me: “Bot Hilton?”

Caller: “Hi! This is Bob Hilton—”

Me: “Bot?”

Caller: “Hi! This is Bob Hilton—”

Me: “Bot?”

Caller: “Hi! This—”

Okay, I’ve had a good laugh for the day. I hung up the phone and returned to work.

It Costs Nothing To Be Polite, Even To Scammers

, , , | Legal | June 8, 2022

In my senior year of high school, I got into a fender bender. It was nothing serious, but my mom told me to be more open to answering unfamiliar numbers in case it had to do with the other driver’s insurance.

About a week later, I was at my school waiting to go on the senior trip when I got a phone call from an unfamiliar number. It only took a few moments to realize it was a scam, though, because even though they started out the spiel with cars, they started asking me about my BMW’s license plate. We did not and still do not own a BMW.

The buses arrived mid-spiel, and we were told to get on the bus.

At the time, I was a very anxious teenager who had been taught to always be polite, so in my somewhat flustered state, I interrupted the guy talking to me.

Me: “Um, I’m sorry, but I can’t really talk right now, since I’m busy.”

This was true since I was walking to the buses at that exact moment.

Me: “Could I call you back later?”

There was a brief pause.

Guy: “Okay, ma’am. Looking forward to your call.”

Me: “Thank you. Have a nice day.”

There was another brief pause.

Guy: *Surprised* “Uh, thank you. You, too, ma’am.”

Yes, you read that right: I thanked a scammer for trying to scam me and told him to have a nice day.

I hung up the phone, immediately blocked the number, and went on to enjoy that particular trip immensely, but I’m still vaguely amused that my gut reaction to answering a scammer’s call was to tell the truth and be polite.

Wow, Just Like In The Movies!

, , , , , | Legal | June 4, 2022

With the advent of the health crisis, there has been a marked increase in scams running around the country, including a dramatic increase in the number of cold callers. I got like one cold caller in the past decade, and I’ve gotten easily ten this year alone.

I get another scam call while at work and decide to have some fun.

Me: “Hello?”

Scammer: “Greetings, sir. My name is [Scammer], and I wish to inform you that you’ve been selected to attend a [Bank] raffle and lucky draw. You can win prizes of up to one million dollars, with a minimum consolation prize of one hundred dollars!”

Me: “Wow. But wait, I don’t have a [Bank] bank account.”

Scammer: “Oh, that’s just fine. No [Bank] account is required to participate. As long as you have a Singaporean bank account, you’re eligible.”

Me: “I see.”

Scammer: “Just to confirm, you are a Singaporean citizen, yes?”

Me: “Yup.”

Scammer: “Excellent! Now may I have your name for my records?”

Me: “Ham Ka Chan.”

That’s Cantonese for “May your family burn in Hell.”

Scammer: “Mr. Hamka, okay. Now, may I know which occupation you work in? I believe it should be IT or office work, yes?”

Me: *Casually* “I work as a spy for Singaporean Military Intelligence.”

The scammer freezes.

Me: “Have you ever heard of any terrorists or organised crime in Singapore?”

Scammer: “No?”

Me:Exactly. We’re the reason why.”

The scammer breathes in sharply.

Me: “Now then, I highly recommend you rethink your life choices, Mr. Scammer, because I’ve dragged this call on long enough for a trace on your location to be performed. And unless you want yourself and your entire family to disappear one day, I highly encourage you to turn yourself in. The police will have far, far more mercy than our torturers.”

Scammer: *Panicking* “Oh, no, no, no, no! This can’t be happening.” *Click*

I look around at the rest of my coworkers in the break room.

Me: “Scam call.”

Sergeant: “Did you seriously threaten to have him assassinated? I mean, we may be spies, but that’s beyond our mandate.”

Me: “I know that. You know that. We all know that. But he doesn’t know that.”

The Truth Hurts, Doesn’t It, Buddy?

, , , , | Legal | May 31, 2022

My mum has recently bought a house after divorcing my dad. I live with her and pay board each week to cover groceries and some bills. However, I am definitely not renting, nor do I have anything to do with mortgage repayments or homeownership.

I receive a call from an unknown number. Since I’ve been applying for jobs, I answer.

Me: “Hello, [My First Name] speaking.”

There’s a long pause, which I recognise as a scammer calling, about to begin their script.

Scammer: “Yes, is this [My Full Name] speaking?”

Me: “Yes?”

Scammer: “Do you own the house you are currently living in?”

Me: “Oh, no, I do not.”

Scammer: “Are you renting? We have ways of helping people who are renting.”

Me: “No, I am not renting.”

Scammer: “So, you own the house, then?”

Me: “No, I don’t.”

Scammer: “So, you are renting, then?”

Me: “Nope. Not renting.”

Technically, I’m not lying. Also, I have time to spare, so let’s have some fun!

Scammer: “So, you own the house?”

Me: “No, I really don’t.”

Scammer: “So, you don’t own the house, and you’re not renting?”

Me: “That’s right.”

Scammer: *Frustrated* “Well, it has to be one or the other! You can’t live in a place that you don’t own or rent! Do own the house or do you rent the house?”

Me: “I told you, neither!”

He let out an exasperated sigh and hung up on me. I told my mum, and she laughed and congratulated me for getting a scammer to hang up.

This Scam Is Forever £21

, , , , , , | Right | May 25, 2022

A week ago, we were told of a scam call that one of my colleagues received. Someone claimed to have made an erroneous payment of £21 on our website and wanted a refund… but we don’t take online payments on our website!

Me: “[Vet Practice], [My Name], how can I help?”

Scammer: “Hey, pal, we made a mistake on your website and we’ve paid some money to your account. £21.”

Me: *Dripping with sarcasm* “Did you now?! Really?! Oh, my gosh!”

Scammer: “Yeah, right, and basically, you’ve not receive—” *Corrects himself* “I’VE not received payment back of yous and I’d like to know why.”

Me: “Oh, really! So you registered online with us and paid an amount of £200…”

Scammer: “No! No… No… £21 I paid.”

Me: “Oh, £21? And did you phone about this earlier already?”

Scammer: “No.”

Me: “No, really? Because we had the exact same thing happen the other day! It is such a coincidence, isn’t it?!”

Scammer: “It is!”

Me: “What is your postcode?”

Scammer: *Clearly making one up on the spot* “[Manchester area, 350km from us].”

Me: “It might be worth it, if you want to run a scam, to you look in your area because we are in London!”

Scammer: *Pauses* “I know you are in London.”

Me: “So, why would you want to register with us while you are in Manchester?”

Scammer: *Pauses* “Well, that’s the thing, that’s what I can’t understand. We paid £21 via Paypal to yous.”

Me: “That’s another funny thing. Our website is not set up to take payments via Paypal, so that is also not possible.”

Scammer: *Scrambling for words* “Er… er… ehm… it was for registering a microchip! That was what it was!” *Pauses*

Me: “Funny that! That’s not something clients do. That is something we do for clients, so that is also not possible!”

Scammer: “Right… so you… your website has been scammed, then.”

Me: “No, no, our website is fine.”

Scammer: “Er… erm…” *Cheerily* “No worries! I will go to the bank, then, and chase it.”

Me: “I think that is your best option, too. Good luck!”

Scammer: *As if we’ve just had the most normal conversation* “Thank you very much, pal! Bye!”