Didn’t Pass The Scamming Test

, , , | Legal | December 16, 2018

(I work at a professional test center, the kind that does expensive medical and financial certification exams and GREs, among others. Our phone system is busted right now, so only one handset rings when someone calls. It has been ringing more than usual today, but I’ve been too busy to pick up until this call.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company Branch]. This is [My Name]; how may I help you?”

Caller: *female voice, skeptical* “Hi. You said [Company]; where exactly am I calling?”

Me: *confused* “Um… This is [Company], the testing center? Do you have an exam scheduled for tomorrow? We generally do courtesy reminder calls the day before…”

Caller: “No, I do not, I just got disconnected from a call from this number. He was asking about my child taking the SAT, and hung up when I refused to give him my VISA number. I called the number back, and that’s you.”

Me: “Wait, what? Ma’am, we haven’t called out in about three hours;, you’re sure this was the number?”

Caller: “I’m positive; I just called the number right back.”

Me: “Okay, we don’t give the SAT here. We do have two exams we give to minors, but that’s not one of them, and anyway, we don’t take payment over the phone at this number. That sounds like a scammer spoofed the call with this number.”

Caller: “I thought something was off about that, especially when he started asking about my credit card. I’m glad I checked.”

Me: “Yeah, ma’am, that was definitely a scammer. That was not [Company]. Have a nice evening.”

Caller: “You, too!”

(I fielded three calls from parents who’d been called by the scammer using our number that night before clocking out. This was just the first!)

Escalating The Call

, , , , | Working | December 15, 2018

(I have been getting robocalls on my cell for weeks. One gives the option to “press one to talk to an agent, or press two to be removed from our calling list.” I hit two every time, but still get calls. I get fed up one day and press one.)

Scammer: “Hello. My name is [Scammer]. How can I help you save money on your insurance today?”  

Me: “Hi. I’ve been getting calls for weeks from you guys, and I’ve always pressed two to be removed, but I’m still getting calls. I’m going to ask you one more time to remove me from your call list, or the next time you call, I’m going to contact my state attorney general’s office and report your business.”  

Scammer: “Well, I’d like to make my wife have multiple orgasms, but I can’t do that, either. Now… I could be a d**k and take your name and number and sell it to all the other insurance companies and put you on all of their calling lists, but since you’ve been so polite with me… I’ll remove you from my call list. GO DOLPHINS.” *click*

Me: “Well, that escalated quickly.”  

(On the positive side, I really haven’t received any more calls from this company.)

How To Scam A Scammer, Part 7

, , , , , | Legal | December 7, 2018

(My mobile phone rings. I know it’s a spam call because I don’t give out my mobile number and it’s unlisted. I answer it anyway since I’m not doing anything important.)

Caller: “Hello, I’m [Caller] from [Made-Up Company]. I’m calling on behalf of your insurance company regarding a traffic accident in which you were the driver not at fault.”

(I’ve had this scam before and just hung up, but I decide to see how long he’ll keep going.)

Me: “I don’t think so; I don’t drive at all.”

Caller: “Oh, my apologies! I’ve misread. I see here you were actually the passenger, not the driver.”

Me: “Nope, I always take public transport.”

Caller: “Oh, yes! My mistake. I see it was actually a relative of yours who lives nearby who was the passenger in the car not at fault in a traffic accident.”

Me: “Nope. I’m the only member of my family in this city. The rest of my family is at least 200 kilometres away.”

Caller: *swearing*

(The call ended. If they ever call back, I’m going to ask them who my insurer is, since they’re calling on behalf of them.)

A Warranted Response

, , , | Working | December 7, 2018

(My parents still have a landline telephone, which is mostly used for outgoing calls. The only “real” people who ever call the line are my mother’s aunts, who are both in their 90s; otherwise, if there’s a call on that line, the odds are excellent that it’s a telemarketer, a scam, or a political shill. I’m helping Mom with a project one afternoon when the landline rings. Note that I worked in an office for several years, and Mom likes to joke about my “secretary voice” on the phone.)

Me: *looks at display* “[Nearby Town] is calling.”

Mom: “Answer it, get rid of them, and block the number. Use your secretary voice.”

Me: *picks up the phone* “Hello?”

Caller: “Hello, may I speak to [Mispronunciation of My Stepfather’s Name]?”

Me: “Who may I say is calling?”

Caller: “This is Susan.”

Me: “…from?”

Caller: “Uh. Warranty services.”

Me: “…for?”

Caller: “…”

Me: “…”

Caller: *click*

(Apparently, there was no place in her scammer’s script to explain which warranty she wanted to discuss.)

He’s Here To Listen… And Listen… And Listen…

, , | Working | December 5, 2018

(I recently discovered a paid service that allows people to redirect scam calls to an AI. The AI has pre-recorded conversations designed to keep the callers tied up as long as possible, costing them money, too. Eventually the callers figure it out, though; one even accused them of answering with a soundboard. While I don’t feel like affording that service at the moment, the soundboard accusation gave me an idea, one I finally got to use today. The area code is mine, but for a city I’ve never lived in, so I know all calls from that code are scams. Plus, it also isn’t anywhere near where the caller claims to be from, either.)

Credit Services Scammer: “Hello! Are you interested in reducing your debt?”

Dr. Phil Soundboard: “Hello?”

Credit Services Scammer: “Yes, hello! Are you interested in reducing your debt?”

Dr. Phil Soundboard: “Where you from?”

Credit Services Scammer: “I’m calling from Atlanta.”

Dr. Phil Soundboard: “What do you want from me today?”

Credit Services Scammer: “F*** off!” *click*

(Ah, at last these spam calls can be fun!)

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