I am on the Do Not Call list. That and $0.50 will get me ¾ of a Snickers bar from the vending machine. I understand it’s more of a pointing finger of shame instead of a great deterrent. I’ve complained about telemarkerters and there form letter response was that it’s too hard to track down people who have sophisticated equipment that spoofs phone numbers, yadda yadda yadda. In other words, we have a billion dollar version of , “If you call them, I’m telling mom.”
Needless to say, I would still get calls on a semi-regular basis for anything from surveys to political organizations to groups asking for donations. These are exceptions to the list of people who cannot call you. These are as annoying as telemarketers. These are what make me want to keep an air horn handy for when they call.
So, recently, my wife got a call from someone asking if we wanted to lower our interest rates on our credit card. She almost gave out our card number and then realized, “Wait a minute? I don’t know who these people are. The phone number came up 1-783-000-whiskey-tango-foxtrot.” She told me all about it and I praised her for realizing the scam early on in the conversation.
On Sunday, I saw the number come up on the Caller ID and decided to go after this prick. I pushed 9 and waited till the person with the less than stellar grasp of the English language went through his spiel.
“What company do you work for?” I asked.
“Visa and Mastercard. Do you have a Visa or Mastercard?” he said.
“No” I lied.
“How about a Discover or Chase card?” He asked.
“Wait, you just said you worked for Visa and Mastercard. Why would you want to know if I had a Chase or Discover?”
He then repeated himself. I said, “OK, hold on. Look, you guys called my wife last week and I’m on the Do Not Call list. So, what company is this and what’s your phone number. I’m going to file a complaint.”
“Visa and Mastercard.”
“Look, pal. You don’t work for Visa or Mastercard. In fact, I’m pretty sure all you want is for me to give you my credit card so you can steal my identity. Give me your supervisor.”
Immediately, there’s a “HELLO” on the line as if his buddy was listening in. “Are you the supervisor?” I asked.
“Is this a supervisor?"
What company do you work for?”
“Not what department. What company. You know, the one that’s on your paychecks.”
“Financial Services, Inc.”
“That’s not the name of the company. You’re just two guys sitting in a garage somewhere in Bangladesh. If I give you my credit card number, I’ll actually have debt and you will have stolen my identity. How dumb do you think I am?”
“Sir, we are not..”
“Ok, fine. Give me your phone number and I’ll call you back.”
At this point, I try to hang up and call but somehow I’m still on the line with them and I try to dial the number. I hear a “Hello” on the other end and ask who I am talking to.
“Attorney General’s office.”
“Yeah right. It’s still you.”
“Hasta La Vista, baby.”
I hang up and try to dial the number which turns out to be a sex line. Hopefully, the result of my tirade will be that they just stop calling me and I’m done with it. Otherwise, I turn my phone over to my daughter and record the call for the hilarity of it.
In any case, the take away is, do not under any circumstances give anyone your credit card number or give them any information about yourself. I worry about elderly or desperate people who think this is legit and get taken by Peggy and his band of jagoffs.
Because, after all, The Do Not Call list is irrelevant because of the “sophisticated equipment” these idiots are using to disguise their location.