This morning’s phone conversation:
Ding-ding-ding-ding . . .
Why is my phone ringing at this hour? At least I know where my phone is now. I dig in my purse pocket and look at the number on the screen: 1 (876) 323-9523. Nobody I know. I’m not familiar with the area code either, but strange things happen. I don’t usually answer numbers that I don’t recognize, but being 7:30 am, I wondered if this was a legitimate call.
“Hello?” I announce with obvious irritation in my voice. I don’t want to be too friendly at this hour.
“Yes. I am the delivery man for Publisher’s Clearing House. I will be delivering a package to you. Have you received a letter in the mail recently?”
“No. Not that I’m aware of.” I make sure to sound as unpleasant as possible, bored even. I answer unknown numbers with the tactic frequently, hoping to deter bothersome telemarketers that shouldn’t be calling me anyway.
“Ok. I need you to get a sheet of paper and a pen, please.” There was a hint of an accent, something being covered up with diction lessons. Squinting and pursing my lips, I try to pinpoint such an inflection in my mental library.
“What for?” I ask. “What would you be delivering?”
“I need you to write down a tracking number and a phone number, as we will be calling my manager to verify some information.” Obviously avoiding the question. He hasn’t asked me my name as of yet, which I think they would if I were really receiving a prize, to make sure they have the right person on the phone. Of course, I’m thinking, This is a new one. Aren’t you supposed to show up at my door with a giant check and videotape me in my pajamas?
“I’m a little bit skeptical since I don’t play Publisher’s Clearing House…”
Yeah, that’s what I thought, lousy scammer.
I’ve been receiving a lot of these types of calls recently, an explosion really. My phone has been quiet for years save the occasional wrong number (I have some good stories about those,too) and actual calls from actual people I want to talk to. It’s only been the last couple of months that it rings with dozens of scams. Either I get “I’m so-and-so from your credit card company…” What company would that be exactly? Or I get the recorded message “Stop what you’re doing right now and listen to this important message. Do you want – ” Whatever it is you’re hocking, I don’t want it.
They don’t get through my defenses. Each time, I look at the number and then mark it as blocked. Regardless, these same calls come in from numbers all over the country: Oklahoma, Connecticut, Montanta, and various other states, each time the same voice and same message. Go find something better to do with your time.
This PCH call came from Jamaica. That would be the accent so incompletely disguised. Auto-dialer is scoping out numbers and hoping to hit a jackpot, like playing a slot machine.
I’m thinking I should write my own script for these calls, something confusing like answering “waffles” to everything or making up ridiculous names. Have some fun with it.
What are your scammer experiences? Write them in the comments section and let’s see who has the best story!