Thursday, March 11, 2021

%$&#% Scam Calls...

 No quote today: I'm too pissed.

For the last two days the peace, quiet and sanctity of my home has been invaded by an unceasing program of telephone calls from obvious scam artists.

I have received no fewer than 14 -- yes, 14 -- calls from what purports to be Amazon, ALONE, "alerting" me to "possible unauthorized use" of my Prime Account.

I don't have a Prime Account.

The calls also don't originate with Amazon. How do I know? Your Overlord is omniscient, that's how. Actually, the Caller ID tells me it's not Amazon (as the calls have all originated through private numbers in places like Provo, Utah, Bronx, New York, Virginia Beach, Miami, and even one from Billings, Montana). In addition, after the first five yesterday, The Overlord used some of his superior IT skills to monitor calls as they came in directly from the exchange.

Every last one of them was a "spoof" hiding the origin of the call, which all appear to originate in various, non-American locales, like Macedonia, Russia, Nigeria and the Mother of All Scam Pits, India.

(You CAN track these calls as long as you keep the asshole on the line long enough and know how to read a data packet as it comes off a telephone switch and you have the proper equipment).

This is no shit: in the last two days I have not only heard from fake Amazon, and fake Microsoft (a perennial favorite), but also from my fake gas company, my fake electric company, my fake credit card company. In between, I'm pestered with calls concerning my expiring boat insurance (I have no boat and never had), people expressing concern over my outstanding Student Loans (I have none), various versions of the "Customer Service Center" regarding my car's warranty, my health and home insurance, Medicare, and my 20-year-old refrigerator.

The other dead giveaway is that they never ask for a specific person by name. They simply declare they are _____ from _______ , give you a bogus "badge" or employee ID number, and start asking for personal information. Information, one would think, a "Customer Service Center" would already have.

When they cannot reach me by landline to torture me with repeated attempts to steal from me they ring my cell, fill up my voicemail box, and then I get a bill for calls that were completed that I never asked for, never wanted, and which are often in a foreign language.

(An awful lot of them are in Chinese).

You can attempt to contact Amazon and tell them someone's trying to scam you; if you do manage to get a human being, they thank you profusely for alerting them to this problem....and then do nothing.

You can contact your utility carriers and alert them their phones are being used to scam people, they thank you profusely, and then nothing happens.

You can contact your phone company(ies) and let them know -- complete with a list of phone numbers -- that their equipment is being used for felonious purposes, they thank you profusely, and then do absolute squat.

Being on the No-Call list means nothing.

Blocking individual numbers on my phones is a time-consuming and ultimately pointless activity, because there are obviously a lot of unsecured PBX's in this country with assigned numbers and connections, but no actual phone attached, to take their places.

And when it isn't the scammers, it's goddamned politicians grandstanding on COVID, the stupid fucking poll takers, the repeated "will you take a customer satisfaction survey?" morons, and the fucktard who wants to sell me aluminum siding ("did you know it's tax-deductible?"), solar power ("did you know you qualify for a government subsidy, so it's free?"), window treatments, or seeking money for some fake charity you've never heard of.

Obviously, these people got their contact information somewhere: there's probably more security breaches taking place than we know about. Someone ought to check those out, if they're not too busy investigating who keeps making fun of AOC.

My usual response is to waste these motherfucker's time and yank their chains for a while before hanging up on them. It's good for a laugh.

Forty-two calls in two days, however, means this gets boring pretty quickly and loses its humor (no, I did not speak to 42 scammers, but it feels like it).

The businesses affected don't seem to care.

Law enforcement does not seem to care.

The government does not seem to care.

Millions of consumers and victims reporting this activity doesn't matter a fucking inch.

Maybe if we claimed the callers were all White Supremacists, someone might demand effective and immediate action. Any ideas on how I can get scam callers cancelled?

Drop me a line without the request for my Social Security Number.


Eliza said...

We hear you on the scammers ! My husband has finally started telling them “ may the Lord bless you and keep you. May no lie be found upon your lips” Henever gets by the first part before they hang up and we never hear from them again !

MSG Grumpy said...

Let me tell you of mine own "Scammer" tale...
I am an Evangelical Christian,
Aside from this personal flaw I am a rather average deplorable.
I have decided that those who would sink to the depths that only telephone scammers inhabit are in desperate need of God's Grace and salvation. (Please be warned, this technique only works if you really do care and Love your fellow man, as insincerity will ruin any chance of success)
As usual I received another call from the always helpful Windows Tech support department.
As usual the Lady that spoke was barely able to speak any English as Windows Tech dept is known for their outreach for recent Indian Immigrants.
As usual the nice Lady was very concerned about all of the errors that they had noticed coming from my computer, and could she direct me to the appropriate page in my computer that will show literally Hundreds of errors being produced.
As usual I stated that my computer was turned off and could she wait while I turned it on?
As usual the nice Lady (salivating at the commission she foresaw) as the gullible old man meekly complied with her instructions.
I apologized profusely as my old computer took forever to start.
As usual I made small talk while awaiting the steam powered Athlon chipped Win98 (Second Edition!) screamed to Life!
I asked if she knew who Jesus was...She stated yes he was a nice guy...
From there I was off and running on the Roman Road to salvation and no matter how many times she sought to return to the fleecing at hand,
As usual I assured her that the ancient computer was almost but not quite fully up and running.
But I did manage to get her to admit a rather large vulnerability,
She stated that the reason she worked in the call center was simply for the money with which to feed and provide for her family.
I launched into the most basic of ethics, if you are willing to do horrible things to provide money for your children, then why should you be shocked when your children do Horrible things for money. That really shocked her, and I suggested that the God who made the entire Universe could actually provide for her and her children...IF she would only do what is right and resist what she knows is wrong. I got her to commit to go by the local church and borrow a Bible and read the Gospel of John. We ended the conversation on good terms and she never asked if my computer ever got up and running.
So win win, Right?
But that is not the end of our story...
The next day
As usual, I got a call from the Windows Tech center concerned about the errors my computer was putting out.
However, the person on the line was a man and while he did have an Indian accent, you could tell he was not struggling with English as a second language like the Lady from the day before.
As usual I began my prep by saying my computer wasn't on and could he wait while it started?
As usual he said "yes".
As usual I began my small talk and asked if he had heard of Jesus...
At which point the man Screamed into the phone "YOU ARE THE %$*^#(^(#*(*()@!! that said this SH!T yesterday and now FOUR of my best people have quit! I WILL PERSONALLY FIND YOU AND MAKE YOU PAY!"
As usual I simply said "And God Bless you as well"
At which point the man became even more enraged and with a string of obscenities vowed once again to find me and "MAKE ME PAY".
and then "click".
Unfortunately, I have not had another call from Windows tech support.
That was eight years ago. Apparently my name and number has made it onto the "Do NOT Call" list in India.
Now if only I could get on that list for my car warranty, my credit card bill, the IRS (that will arrest me soon), and especially all of the political calls.

I HATE robo calls because I don't get to talk to an actual human being.
With a human being ALL things are possible, even redemption from the lower Hells of telemarketing.

MSG Grumpy