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The “Fundraisers” Are Sus AF

, , , , | Legal | January 26, 2022

It’s around 2016. The newspapers have been reporting on scammers calling people at home and on their mobile phones, allegedly to raise money for various Police Support Funds. There are also legitimate fundraisers for police officers, too, but it’s difficult to tell them apart, although generally speaking, the legitimate ones at this point in time either call your home phone or send you something in the mail.

One day, I’m sitting in my car waiting for my wife to come out of her office when my mobile phone rings. I answer it because I am expecting a call and don’t know what number will show on my display. The caller is a man who sounds roughly middle-aged with not a hint of a foreign accent.

Caller: “Hello, my name is [Caller], and I’m calling from [generic sounding name for Police Fund] raising money to support our local Police Officers who have been wounded on the job. Would you like to donate $100 today? The donation will appear on your next cell phone statement.”

That makes me feel somewhat suspicious.

Me: “I’m not interested in doing so right now. Could you send me something in the mail that has more details on your charity?”

Caller: “I understand; $100 is a bit too much for some people. How I about I put you down for $50 for now?”

Me: “No, I’m not comfortable doing transactions like this based on a cold call to my mobile phone.”

Caller: “Well, how about I start you off with just a $25 donation?”

Me: “Look, I apologize if you are a legitimate charity, but I have no idea who you are, nor any way to confirm it. I did not give you permission to use my mobile phone number to call me to raise money or for any other purpose. I’d be happy to give something once I confirm who you are and that the charity you represent is legitimate, but I’m not doing that with someone who cold-calls my mobile number without my permission. Again, if you want to mail me something that I can read and check out, I will consider a donation.”

Caller: “I understand your hesitancy, and I appreciate your concern. How about just a modest ten-dollar donation to get us started, then?”

Me: “No, thank you. You don’t appear to be listening to anything I’m saying here. Please take my number off your list. Goodbye.”

I hung up. Afterward, I looked up the name of the charity he said was representing and I could not find anything by that name at all.

Yeah, this is why I don’t respond to cold-callers of any type, especially when they call my mobile phone number without my express permission. If I don’t know who you are, you aren’t getting any money from me!

Fighting Nonsense With Nonsense

, , , , , , , | Legal | January 11, 2022

I take my kids to visit my grandparents, and while we’re there, their phone rings. My grandfather answers and after a moment…

Grandfather: “Another telemarketer scam.”

My Seven-Year-Old: “I have an idea. Can I have the phone?”

Grandfather: “Sure.”

Seven-Year-Old: *Into the phone* “BLARGH! BLAH, BLAH! RAGH! ARGH! BLARGH!”

More or less.

My seven-year-old hands the phone back to her great-grandfather.

Seven-Year-Old: “They hung up.”

I now give her the phone whenever I get an unsolicited call.

Don’t Copy This Scam Again!

, , , , , | Legal | January 8, 2022

I work the phones at our small company. Because we are a business, we have typical things like copy machines. A call comes in asking for the model number of our copy machine so they can send us the toner. This is a scam where they ask for the model number, send out toner to our office at two times the cost, and bill us.

We also already have extra toner from when the machine was serviced last week. We also have a contract with the company that sold the copy machine to us, so I know this is fake. However, I decide to play along.

Scammer: “We just need the model number of your copier so we can send you the toner.”

Me: “Shouldn’t you have that already?”

Scammer: “Yes, we have the serial number but not the model number.”

Me: “If you have a serial number, then shouldn’t you be able to figure out what the model number is from the contract? Can you give me the serial number?”

Scammer: “Shut up, you f****** a**hole.” *Hangs up*

I couldn’t help but laugh.

Breaking Out The Big Guns. Sort Of.

, , , , | Legal | January 2, 2022

I have been getting an annoyingly frequent occurrence of spam calls claiming that if I don’t pay some kind of debt from a supposed lawsuit, I’ll be arrested. Of course, they only accept gift cards, and the only lawsuits I’ve been in ended with the other party owing me money.

I’ve tried everything; I told them I know they’re a scammer and asked nicely to be taken off the list. I’ve reported the phone numbers they’ve used. I’ve played the “world’s most annoying noise” audio at full blast. I’ve screamed incoherently. Nothing has worked to get them to leave me alone, and I am getting tired of being called five times a day.

Understandably, after a week, I am furious and underslept from the constant disruptions since they call any time between 5:00 am and 1:00 am. So, on a lark, I decided to use a meme for inspiration: the two Spider-men pointing at each other.

Scammer: “This is the State Office of Federal Bureau Consumer Affair Lawsuit Agency. There is a pending court case that demands your attention. If you fail to respond and pay the levy, there will be a warrant for your arrest…”

I put on a serious and authoritative voice.

Me: “Son, do you have any idea what number you just dialed?”

Scammer: “Huh? Yes, I’ve called you.”

Me: “This ain’t a personal phone. This phone is on a sergeant’s desk in [City].”

Scammer: “What do you mean?”

Me: “You do know that impersonating police is a federal crime, right?”

Scammer: *Genuinely shocked* “I called the police?! No, I didn’t!”

Me: “You were the one who called this line. So, where should I send the boys in blue to pick you up?”

The scammer hung up quickly.

They stopped calling! Just be careful not to actually say you are police, for obvious reasons.

This Time, The Scammer Falls For You

, , , , | Legal | December 30, 2021

As lockdown starts to lift, so does the break from scam calls. I’m not sure why I’m plagued with them so much. Maybe someone gave my details to some scammers and they passed it around amongst themselves.

I do the same thing every time: I pretend to play along and then just occasionally say, “Yep,” or, “Uh-uh.” It’s surprisingly effective at wasting their time.

I get a call just as I’m making dinner. I manage thirty minutes or so of stringing the scammer along, the phone pressed against my ear with my shoulder as I chop and cook. Then, I clumsily knock a hot saucepan off the hob and it splashes my bare foot.

I swear loudly in reaction, only to hear equal swearing and a loud thud, which sounds like someone falling off their chair. There are several minutes of rustling over the sounds of breathing. I’m cracking up. My foot hurts so much, but from the noises coming from the phone, I can barely breathe.

Scammer: “What was that?”

Me: “Did you… Did you fall off your chair?”

Scammer: “Yes, I fell off my blinking chair. What was that for?”

Me: “Oh, my God, I can’t even…. I can’t talk to you. This is too funny.”

He clearly didn’t think so, judging by the swearing he was doing at me. I sat down cooling my foot while laughing my a** off.