You Pay It Best When You Pay Nothing At All

, , | | Working | July 9, 2019

(The phone rings and I see it’s a private number. I’m not yet on the do-not-call register, so I’m fairly certain it’s going to be an unsolicited call.)

Me: “Hello, [My Name] speaking.”

Telemarketer: “Hello, [My Name], I’m calling you from [Company] to talk about your mortgage.”

Me: “That’s not necessary—“

Telemarketer: *interrupting me* “Oh, but it is. We can take on your mortgage at a much lower cost! Isn’t that great?!”

Me: “I don’t see how you are going to do that.”

Telemarketer: “Oh, but we certainly can. Your mortgage payments are way too high right now.”

Me: “How do you know that?”

Telemarketer: “You are on the register.”

Me: “Sorry, but I can’t be. You see, you started this conversation completely wrong. You should’ve asked if I owned the apartment I’m in right now. And I would’ve told you that it’s a rented apartment. So, unless you are going to give me free money each month, I don’t think you can do better than the mortgage payments I am currently making, which is nothing at all.”

Telemarketer: “Goodbye!” *click*

(To this day, I still have no idea if there is a “register” for mortgage payments or if it was a lie.)

The Biggest Crime Is Thinking Chow Mein Is Japanese

, , , , | | Legal | July 3, 2019

(A Windows scammer had been calling me every ten minutes for the past hour.)

Scammer: “Your Windows server is broken; we need some information to fix it.”

(I panic and start thinking of what to say. I am fed up with this guy and don’t want him to call again.)

Me: “Hiyaah!”

Scammer: “Hello?”

Me: “Hiyaah!”

(I see a restaurant menu on the table, and start listing Chinese menu items in the most garbled voice I can manage.)

Scammer: “What language are you speaking?”

Me: “Chow mein?” *exaggerated, then more garbled gibberish*

Scammer: *in the background* “Help, I think I’ve got Japan… What do I do?”

Background: “Hang up, hang up!”

(I didn’t hear from him again.)

Chicken Soup Works, As Seen On TV!

, , , , | | Right | July 1, 2019

(I work at a rehabilitation facility. The set up of the facility is a community-based one, and is an office, which previously was a residential dwelling. The houses that our clients live in are also regular houses that were previously neighbouring properties until the organisation bought them. Therefore, our houses’ landline numbers end up being contacted often by scam calls. This is hilarious for a number of reasons, given that our client population have all experienced severe traumatic brain injury, and while very independent in some areas of their lives, there are some concepts about the world they just cannot grasp. Scam calls are one. The one doing the rounds at our site at the moment happens to be the good old “your computer has a virus.” While the staff at the office usually deal with this call by immediately hanging up — a tragic missed opportunity in my view — sometimes the clients get these calls, instead. I just happen to be coming into one of the houses to help out one of the clients when I notice him fiddling around behind the television. I notice him on the phone, which he puts down when I come in.)

Me: “What are you doing?”

Client: “My device has a virus.”

(I note he is putting blankets all over the TV cables.)

Client: “Well, if it has a virus it must be sick, so I thought blankets would keep it warm and make it feel better.”

(He also needed to be persuaded that chicken soup did not work on TV devices. I am mostly thankful he had no ingredients to attempt to prepare this concoction, or after staff leaving he may have tried this. We did keep a close eye on him and his “Sick TV,” though! Another house receiving a similar call with another client a few weeks later responded with the glorious, “Okay, but what is a computer?” Another client, again in a different house, ended up hanging up on the scammer by pulling the cord for the phone from the wall, thinking that this was “rebooting the modem,” and then, while recalling the event to staff, reported, “I must have fixed the issue, because they hung up and haven’t called back.” I am holding out for when they try the office again and I get to answer. This website has given me so many pro tips!)

Retract That Contracting Offer

, , , , | | Legal | June 22, 2019

(In California, you can look up contractors’ licenses statewide to see if they’re valid. I work for the local government’s building department and can also see local projects going on for companies and contractors. There is also a well-known scam in the area.)

Scammer: “Hi! May I speak with [My Name]?”

Me: “Speaking.”

Scammer: “Well, we’re finishing up a job in your neighborhood off of [Street I live on], and we’re wondering if we could come by and give you a quote on having some work done?”

Me: What’s your contractor’s license number?”

Scammer: “Funny. Real funny.” *click*

Sweet Seventeen

, , , , | | Legal | June 5, 2019

(We receive a call at the weekend from a man who says he is from BT, the phone company, and is calling about our Internet connection. I know immediately it is a scam as we use a different provider, but I decide I’ll see how the conversation goes.)

Scammer: “Is your Wi-Fi router currently on?”

Me: “Yep.”

Scammer: “Can you tell me how many lights are flashing on it?”

Me: *picking a number at random* “Um… seventeen.”

Scammer: “Seventeen?”

Me: “Yep.”

Scammer: “Are you crazy? You f****** crazy! Motherf***** woman!”

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