Scammers make life miserable for people self-quarantining

Scammers make life miserable for people self-quarantining

Thank goodness winter will soon be officially over because just how stupid do those telephone scammers think we are? They know we have been forced to stay inside our homes most of the winter, only going out briefly for doctor appointments, groceries and restaurant curbside pickups. The scammers have taken full advantage of this during the past few months, and our home phone is ringing off the hook.

Persistence is not a quality scammers lack.

We have received the following call at least 42 times. I wish I were exaggerating this number, but sadly, I am not. A recorded voice says, “This is an apology call from your utility company. You’ve been over charged ... blah, blah, blah,” And all you must do is press 1, give the scammers all your banking information to get your money back and receive a discount on future services.

Now if we did not fall for that call the first 41 times, why are they calling us again? Certainly, one day soon we are going to smack ourselves in the forehead, realize we are missing out on a good deal and press 1. Not a chance.

We could choose not to answer unfamiliar calls, and sometimes we do if the number is obviously coming from outside of Ohio, but my husband, Joe, and I get volunteer and work-related calls we need to answer.

Unfortunately, despite rumors to its demise, spoofing is still a thing. I’ll recognize a local number, answer it, and it’s someone concerned I haven’t renewed my car warranty yet.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve gotten that “final courtesy call” from the car-warranty people who have been unsuccessfully trying to contact me for the past four years. Oh, I wish it was the final call. They are liars. They are just going to keep calling.

One day the words “important call” came up on the caller ID. This is a sure tip-off that it is not important at all, but I couldn’t resist answering it. You guessed it — my car warranty is expiring. I should be more concerned, but I hung up.

Another favorite call is the one from “Amazon” (wink, wink). It’s a recorded message, and surprise, they are calling to confirm our recent order of $500. We ignored it, so they have decided to up the stakes. The other day we received another call from “Amazon” calling to confirm our recent order of $900. Just press 1 to make all your problems go away if this is not your order.

Sorry, we are not falling for it. The first tip-off was when I answered the phone, the friendly “Amazon” customer-service message started the call with dear customer. It sounded out of place. I can just picture a bunch of scammers pouring over a book on the proper way to communicate in English.

There was a new call the other day. I picked up the phone and was shocked to learn our IP address has been compromised in several countries. Our IP address was in danger of being shut down in only two days.

Wow, what a dilemma. I need the internet to work. My life will be ruined. I must press 1 immediately to straighten it all out with the scammer, er, I mean operator.

One evening several years ago, I was extremely busy in the middle of a cleaning project. I received a call from two men at “Microsoft” letting me know my computer had a virus, and they could help me get rid of it.

I was already dazed and confused with the chaos at home, so I said, “Can you call back in 10 minutes?” The caller’s voices faltered. They were trying to figure out what scam I was trying to pull. They reluctantly said OK. But guess what? They never called back.

Using a stern recorded voice is always an effective tactic for scammers. Ring. A mean-sounding voice says, “This is a call concerning your credit card account.” Which one? Why don’t you know? Could you be a scammer?

“We have been trying to reach you.” I have been home all winter, so you haven’t been trying too hard. “And this is our final attempt (gasp, not that) for you to have your credit account rates lowered.” My reply: click. Wait, make that a very loud, angry click.

All these calls even have me looking forward to mowing season. If I can’t get out of the house for social activities, at least I can get out and mow.

The phone is ringing right now, and my new favorite caller ID just came up on the television. It reads spam risk. Whoever created this caller ID deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.

The awards are given in memory of Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite. (This is an interesting fact. And could it be a discovery we could use against scammers?)

There are six Nobel Peace Prize awards given out each year for people “who best benefit mankind through their actions.” Yes, the spam risk caller ID has certainly made life better for me and mankind.

You never know when a new scam is going to pop up. These are people who could be using their powers for good but instead have decided to make the rest of us miserable. They don’t deserve any sympathy or mercy. (Bring out that dynamite.)

Ring. A friendly recorded voice says, “You are currently the only person in this conference.”

Me, not waiting to see who else is going to join: Click.

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