Dissuaded With Surgical Precision

, , , , | Working | July 5, 2018

(I work in the office of a veterinary hospital. We get a lot of spam calls of random people trying to sell us stuff. Also, because we’re a vet clinic, I’m in the habit of letting them know the owner/vet has no time to talk to these spam calls because she is with clients or in surgery; sometimes I say this even if she isn’t. Usually, they at least understand this, because we’re a business and it’s what we do. One day I get a caller who apparently doesn’t catch what type of business we are.)

Me: *answering phone* “[My Name], vet hospital. How can I help you?”

Caller: “I need to speak to the owner, please.”

Me: “She’s in surgery right now; can I take a message?”

Caller: *pauses* “Oh! Oh, dear. Oh, my gosh. I’m so sorry. I’ll call back another time; I hope she’s okay!” *hangs up*

(Best way to get rid of a spammer!)

Scams From Beyond The Grave

, , , | Legal | July 4, 2018

(We just got back to my grandfather’s house from burying my grandmother. The phone rings and I answer. A man is on the other end, and in my emotional exhaustion I don’t understand, so I ask him to repeat. He is calling to notify us that we won several thousand dollars. Since it’s not my house, I ask for the exact winner, even though I suspect a scam.)

Caller: “Oh, [Grandmother] won.”

(Now I know it’s a scam, and even though I’m annoyed I try to stay polite.)

Me: “Sir, this is not funny. We just finished burying her; she died a week ago. Please don’t call again.”

Caller: “What do you mean?”

Me: “She is dead. I find this rude and disrespectful.”

Caller: “Are you her daughter?”

Me: “No, her granddaughter, and please do not call here again.”

Caller “Would you like her winnings? I just need your name.”

(Now I’m getting mad.)

Me: “Oh, really? How did she win?”

Caller: “By paying her bills on time and shopping at her favourite shops—”

(I start laughing.)

Caller: “What is so funny?”

Me: “She has been in a home for five years with dementia and hasn’t known who I am for over three years. How the h*** did she go shopping?!”

(The man hangs up on me. Thinking that is the end I try not to alert my grandfather and the rest of the family so they don’t get upset. About ten minutes later the phone rings again and I grab the phone. Sadly my grandfather hears it ring this time and also comes over.)

Caller: “Do you know who this is?”

Me: “The man I spoke to about ten minutes ago.”

Caller: “Are you ready to accept your money now?”

Grandfather: “Who is it?”

Me: “Sir, as I told you this is rude and disrespectful. This is a scam; please leave us alone.”

Grandfather: “Who is it?”

Caller: “Would the man I hear be interested?”

(Now I don’t care.)

Me: “Hold on. I’ll ask.”

(I do not cover the mouthpiece so he can hear:)

Me: “The man on the line says Grandma won several thousand dollars; I told him of her death and is now offering the money to anyone who wants it.”

Grandfather: *grabs the phone* “How dare you?! She is dead! This is a scam! Never call back again!”

(His voice was shaking with anger as he slammed the phone down. I honestly would not have been angry if, when I told him of her death, he said sorry and left it at that, but him trying to continue the scam has caused me to lose faith in humanity.)

Scammers Talk In A Different Toner, Part 2

, , , , | Working | May 28, 2018

(We have been receiving calls from sales people claiming they are our printer vendor, but we don’t have a printer vendor so it’s easy to pick these out as a sales calls. They claim they just need the model of our printer to make sure they bring the right toner. After receiving multiple calls from these guys one week, I decide to start messing with them.)

Caller: “Hey, I’m [Caller], your vendor with [Company] for your printer. Can you give me the model number of the printer? I want to make sure I have the right toner.”

Me: “If you are the vendor for our printer, shouldn’t you already know what the model is?”

Caller: “Hey, I’m right outside; I’m just needing to confirm that model.”

Me: “You are outside the building?”

Caller: “Yeah, I’m just trying to confirm the model.”

Me: “I don’t see you.”

Caller: “What?”

Me: “I’m outside, too, and I don’t see you.”

Caller: “I’m just trying to get that model number.”

Me: “Do you see me waving? I’m right here!”

Caller: “Hey, I’m… Wait, what?”

Me: “Wait, are you in a van? I think I see you. You are going the wrong way! Come back! That is the wrong direction. I’m over here!”

Caller: “I… um…” *click*

(It’s at this point I notice half the office is looking at me.)

Coworker: “Well, I guess [Company] won’t be calling for a while. Good job.”

Scammers Talk In A Different Toner

In Bad Company

, , | | Working | May 24, 2018

(I answer a call from a number I don’t recognise.)

Caller: “I am phoning to talk to you about reviewing your life insurance policy. Is it all right for us to talk?”

Me: “Who are you looking to speak to?”

Caller: “I am phoning from a company—” *doesn’t name the company* “—that reviews your life insurance company’s policy. Is it all right for me to ask you a few questions?”

Me: “I need to know the person you want to speak to; there is more than one person here.”

Caller: “Well, I… I… I…” *hangs up*

(If you want to review my policy, why don’t you know the name of the person whose policy you want to the discuss, or even the name of your company?)

A Very Cold Caller

, , | Working | May 8, 2018

(My father died unexpectedly last year, and I decided to re-register a website domain he used to own and turn it into a memorial page for him. I do all the HTML coding myself, buy hosting, and put the site online. The first thing you see is a big picture of him, with, “In memory of [Father],” in huge writing. This is very clearly all the site is for, and the design isn’t bad, even if I do say so myself. The very next day, from nine am onwards, I’m getting cold calls about SEO and web design services. Some variation of this conversation happens literally eight or ten times over the course of three hours:)

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name].”

Cold Caller: “Yes, am I speaking to [My Name mispronounced]?”

Me: “Yes, that’s me.”

Cold Caller: “I’m calling from [Company] about the domain you recently registered, [Domain mispronounced].com?”

Me: “Yes?”

Cold Caller: “We offer comprehensive web design, and Google search engine optimisation services. What sort of site were you looking to create for your business?”

Me: “Why don’t you go to the site now and maybe take a look?”

Cold Caller: “Yes, I’m looking at the site now.”

Me: “You are? You see the webpage in front of you now? And you’re still calling to try to sell me design and SEO? REALLY?”

Cold Caller: “Well, sir, our packages are very well-priced—”

Me: “Mate, look at the webpage. Read it out to me right now. What does it say?”

Cold Caller: “…”

Me: “Does it look like I need a web designer? Or SEO?”

Cold Caller: “I see. I’m sorry, sir—”

Me: *click*

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