Spammers & Scammers & Trolls — OH NO!

I am NOT a criminal who is wanted in four states.  NOT!  However, below are four voice-mails I have received this month that might give you reason to question my statement:

May 15; 10:19 a.m.

The local police there are four serious allegations pressed on your name at this moment. We would request you to get back to us so that we can discuss about this case before taking any legal action against you.  Number to reach us is 585-633-2725.  Thank you.

May 16; 12:30 p.m.

There are four serious allegations pressed on your name at this moment.  We would request you to get back to us so that we can discuss about this case before taking any legal action against you.  The number to reach us is 917-382-7107.  Thank you.

May 21; 10.46 a.m.

Is there are four serious allegations pressed on your name at this moment.  We would request you to get back to us so that we can discuss about this case before taking any legal action against you.  The number to reach us is 607-595-3962.  Thank you.

May 22; 10:26 a.m.

There are four serious allegations pressed on your name at this moment.  We would request you to get back to us so that we can discuss about this case before taking any legal action against you.  The number to reach us is 347-384-3901. Thank you.

warrantNotice that my name is never mentioned?  Also notice the English is not very good?  I  listened to one of the messages to see if perhaps it was just my voice-to-text that was making it appear to be broken English, but no, they are speaking with a heavy accent and saying exactly the words you see here.

This scam started a couple of months ago.  The first was from Las Vegas, the next Florida, California, then New York.  All places I have not set foot in for at least 20-30 years.  I laughed it off and blocked the numbers.  But, as soon as I block one number, they pop up on a different one.  All of the above calls are from New York area codes.  At first it was funny, but after 3-4 months of this, I am no longer laughing.  I rarely get to bed early, usually somewhere between 3:00 – 5:00 a.m., so I do not appreciate an early call, when I have barely slept an hour.  I now keep my phone on ‘silent’ most of the time, for my phone ringer is very loud and obnoxious (intentionally, so that I can hear it when somebody actually calls).

funeral homeAnd then there are the ads that come in the mail for the funeral homes and old-age homes.  GAWK!!!  I walk 4 miles a day, weather permitting.  I maintain a two-story, three-bedroom, three-bath townhouse.  I cook 4-5 nights a week.  I do 12-14 loads of laundry a week.  I take care of 7 unruly kitties.  I do not think I need to enter an old-age home, nor a funeral home just yet and frankly, I am offended to receive as many as ten glossy advertisements in the mail each week encouraging me to hurry and plan my funeral before it’s too late!  I worked for a publishing/printing company, and I know what those glossy ads cost.  Frankly, I will be cremated, my ashes can be put in a Ziploc bag until the girls have time to dump them in a forest somewhere.  No muss, no fuss, no expense.  So stop sending me the bloody ads!!!

And then there is the spam email.  Sigh.  I was getting, on average, more than 200 per 24-hour period.  I have an excellent spam filter, so it is rare that any of it makes it to my inbox, but I still have to at least glance at every bit of it in order to ensure that something didn’t accidentally go to spam.  It happens … not often, but it happens.  So, last week I went on a campaign to ‘unsubscribe’ from every bloomin’ spammy email.  Every few hours I cleaned out the spam folder, unsubscribing to each.

'Wow! I've got one from someone I know!'First problem, some emails do not have an ‘unsubscribe’ button.  Second problem, some force you to provide your email address, and then pop up a message saying “Unsubscribe was unsuccessful.  Please try again later.”  Third problem, in some cases, rather than the emails stopping, they multiplied exponentially!  So, after hours spent trying to stop the spam, I am now getting almost emailsthe same amount I was before.

Notice to all spammers:  If I need an insurance policy, dental implants, plumbing repairs, genital enhancements, a hit man, Viagra, new windows, or a girlfriend, I will NOT be contacting you!!!

Okay, so we all have this same problem, and maybe I am making a mountain out of a molehill, blowing it all out of proportion, but I work hard, and I don’t have time to waste on such idiocy.  More and more, it is driving me nuts and I want to retaliate by giving the callers an earful, but I know – have been told by all the experts – this will only prove that mine is a working number and will increase the number of calls.  But, sigh, there ought to be a way to stop it.

What is most worrisome, though, even more than my annoyance, is that obviously some people are falling for all this b.s. and are being robbed. I am willing to bet that in most cases it is the elderly who are falling for the scams.  Take the phone calls, for example.  If I were to answer one of those calls, or call them back, I bet money they would say something along the lines of, “Oh … it could be a mistake … just give me your social security number and let me double check.  … … … Ma’am?  There was a mistake … it was not you, but somebody else.  My apologies.  Have a nice day.”  And now they have your social security number, possibly your driver’s license number, age, address, and maybe even your bank information.  What could possibly go wrong, eh?

The glorious age of instant electronic communication is not without its drawbacks.  Sigh.

65 thoughts on “Spammers & Scammers & Trolls — OH NO!

  1. I am also overloaded with spam emails through my roadtrip travel destinations. It seems that after I visit every place, , I soon receive unwanted local business inquiries and ads as if I live there. How ridiculous!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is ridiculous and I find it a bit creepy, too! I don’t travel much, but last summer when I went to Pennsylvania to see my friend Herb, I was then bombarded with ads for businesses in Southern PA. Big Brother is watching!

      Like

  2. Well you certainly are active in many ways but it seems to be successful way of life both on and off the internet. Scams are everywhere and they can cost many of us lots of time. Your presence on the internet is a large one and that exposes you more than most of us. Still you are wide awake , if the scanning the spam gets too much just delete the lot I do it all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you … comments like yours remind me why I keep doing this. And yes, I usually just scroll through the spam, giving it a cursory glance, and then delete the entire thing. Every now and then, an important email from a friend or family member somehow ends up in the spam folder, which is the only reason I even bother to skim it.

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  3. I love getting e-mails from H.M. Revenue & Customers; maybe they’ll phone me one day and I can ask all sorts of taxation questions. I’ve had some from the IRS, which is interesting seeing as I have no US income.
    Then there are the ones from women who are….and apparently me only out of the entire UK male population…there are some peculiar folk out there.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ugh. I hope this nonsense is sorted out soon. An older aunt of mine in California got caught up in it. Strange for her as she’s very conscious about giving out any of her info. Thankfully no major damage was done but there was still some inconvenience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the inconvenience is a big factor. Our bank account was hacked a few years ago, and we ended up fine … the bank reimbursed us (turned out to be one of their employees) and even gave us an extra $100, but the time I had to spend calling and emailing, talking to detectives, then getting new bank cards, changing all passwords … it was a royal pain. I’m glad your aunt didn’t lose any money, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yup. That’s exactly it. I think sometimes, ppl would rather say goodbye to a few dollars than suffer the days and weeks of ‘fixing’.

        Glad your bank sorted you out too!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I often ignore calls if I don’t recognize the caller.

    A few leave voice mail, and that is usually recognizable as a scam.

    This evening, a caller left voice mail saying that my computer was infected, and that I should not use it until I call their number to have it cleaned. I ignored the call.

    These scammers hide their ill-gotten gains using money laundry methods. And guess who is a big enabler of money laundering.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Like you, I never answer a call unless I know the caller, and only about 1 in 5 leave a voice mail. Still, it is an annoyance and while most days I just laugh it off, some days it breaks a train of thought, and then I want to throw something.
      I have gotten that one where they say your computer is infected. I didn’t fall for it, but read up on it after that, and they ask you to give them access to your computer so they can ‘fix the problem’, and it only takes them a few short minutes to download your entire hard drive, including bank info, passwords, etc.
      Money launderers … hmmm … let me think … 🤔

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  6. Sorry, you are going through this. I registered my number with do-not-call lists but if I’ve ever given my name and number to a company I was doing business with, they’ve passed the number on to affiliates. I also don’t pick up if I don’t recognize the number. Hope it stops soon for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am on the do not call list also, but lately it doesn’t seem to do much good. Ah, it isn’t a major issue, but just one of those little things that can annoy the heck out of you when you’re busy, as I most always am. 😉

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  7. There are some people with nothing better to do than sit on their bums all day thinking up scams to deprive us of our money. They call this their job though none of them have the least notion of what a job or a hard day’s work is. When you get any of the scam emails where they have money o share if you claim it, they ask for your bank a/c to pay it into. Go ahead and invent one, make them work for it and fail.Anyone that asks for a/c details give them a dud. It’s possible the police may be able to trace them from their claim.
    As for the phone, my family know I never answer it unless it’s a text so all calls are ignored automatically.If frustrates them.
    Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve long thought that if these scammers and hackers put their talents, time and energies into doing something useful, devising things that might be helpful to elderly or disabled people struggling to use the computer, they might earn the space they are taking on this planet. As it is, they are thieves as much as if they shattered a window and broke into our home. And you know enough people must be falling for these scams that they are making money, else they wouldn’t still be doing it. I’ve thought about doing what you said … giving them a fake bank account at a different bank than mine, and let them run around like a blind mouse for a bit. But in the end, it takes my time and energy, and both are in short supply, so I don’t waste it on them.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ok, are any of you getting I/2 dozen e-mail notifications every day that XYZ@outlook.com is now following your blog? I would love 6 new followers every day but I know they are not legitimate. When I check “followers” on my blog site, they have been put to the spam folder, but what is their game?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Imagine my friend’s surprise when her phone rang one day, and she checked the caller ID to see who it might be, and it was her. She was calling herself, from her home number! She lives by herself, has one phone, and it was ringing. How was she calling herself? She just had to pick it up!
    “Hello,” a sweet young female voice said, “I’m calling about a problem with your bank account.”
    My friend no longer has a land line…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now THAT is the strangest one I’ve heard yet! I generally thought the land line safer than the cell, but I guess I was wrong. We still have a land line, but don’t use it. It is part of our WiFi package, and it’s handy when summer storms kill the electricity for a day or two, but otherwise we don’t even have a phone connected to it. I get calls from some number that is only one digit different than my daughters, and I always have to look closely at that one.

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      • I get most of my spam calls on my land line, hardly any on my cell. I wonder why the difference? We don’t publish people’s cell numbers up in Canada. Do you publish them in the States?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well, we don’t have a listing of cell numbers, such as a phone directory, but my understanding is that the cell phone provider does sell lists of numbers from time to time. It’s likely the case because … we have a family cell phone plan, with daughter Chris, myself, and Miss Goose on the same plan, but each of us having different numbers, though similar. About once a week, we all get, within minutes of each other, the same advertisement via text message. Strange.

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  10. I’ve also gotten emails from a scammer supposedly Apple saying I owed money. I don’t and have no access to any account at Apple. Wrote a warning post about this. I contacted Apple and found their email official address is very different. Be careful guys, there’s always some individual who likes to scam you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I get at least five of these calls a day. I finally had to clear out my list of blocked numbers to make room for new ones. I never turn the phone off but I don’t answer numbers I don’t recognize and block them. They come from all over. Scamming is prevalent for people my age, I just hope others don’t fall for them. Last year it was the (IRS) fake calls that were prevalent. The IRS does NOT call.

    Liked by 1 person

    • FIVE a day??? That’s ridiculous! I was getting 5-6 a day right before the election in 2016, but now its more like 6-8 a week. No, the IRS does not call nor email … funny, I get email from the IRS saying I owe some exorbitant amount, and I retired 10 years ago! It’s only likely to get worse, for somebody is making money preying on poor people who fall for these things.

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  12. I get the microsoft ones and the IRS ones..neither of which companies will ever call you on the phone. I did discover that the “microsoft” belongs to a national web “protection” business… “PC Matic”. I called back on the number left and the fellow that answered put me through to their “security department at Microsoft”..and lo and behold I was suddenly speaking to a salesman for PC Matic. I turned them in to our local FBI office with a major complaint.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Another scam, even more dangerous, is you let them remotely log into your computer to ‘fix the problem’, and while they are in there, it takes only 2-3 minutes to download your entire hard drive, including bank info, passwords, et al. I’m glad you reported them!!!

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  13. I seldom answer my phone unless I know the caller. Then not always.

    I know of some who are compelled to answer each and every call? Go figure? One thing I would mention in passing. When a person gets a new phone and number. I had to, when I moved. My wife Ofelia, also. The telecommunication companies, dish out used numbers in a hurry,. So then people will receive calls intended for some else. The collection agencies, send out automated calls. Asking for the presumed scammer, or skip person, to call them and supply a case number, etc. Yet not once has an actual person called, to verify. Poor way to do business, IMO. We continue to be annoyed by them. As Mr. Curtler writes, “What a way to live”. BTW. the biggest scam is a credit card. Cheers Jamie

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree … like you, I only answer calls when I know the caller, and then not always, if I don’t feel like talking. Yes, getting a new number or a new address, opens the door for getting someone else’s calls/mail. We have lived at this address since 1998, and still get mail for somebody named Miriam Kobos who lived here before! After 20 years!!! I used to mark it and put it back in the post, but I figure after this long, I just toss it. And … I agree with your assessment of credit cards. I have none and have had none since the early 1970s. Learned the hard way. Cheers!!!

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  14. Hey! I got spammy phone calls like the one’s you described! The voice said he was a police officer ( no police force identified), and he identified himself with an English surname but had a heavy accent and poor English. Said I’d be in big trouble if I ignored the call. Thankfully, I don’t get email scam as much as you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Did he call you by name, or did he have to ask your name? That is one red flag right there. You’re in trouble with the law, but … what is your name again? Or … you owe the department of taxation a million dollars … who are you again? Sigh. They take us for fools. But then, obviously enough people fall for these scams, for if they weren’t making money, they wouldn’t still be doing it.

      How have you been, my friend? Finished with all the yard work yet? Still able to walk upright?

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  15. Thanks for the heads-up. The AARP newsletter has numerous examples of such scams each month (but I suppose you are too young receive that piece of mail!). One really learns to distrust whoever is on the other end of the phone line after a while. What a way to live!!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Jill, you are on your toes. It bothers me that they prey on those who are not. Most of what I get are the IRS and Microsoft scams. I hope your post will help some avoid these forays. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, they mainly prey on the seniors, some of whom may more easily fall for a scam, especially the IRS or Microsoft ones. I get emails all the time that the IRS shows me owing $20,000 in back taxes. HAH!!! I even got a snail mail letter the other day saying that I owe the State of Ohio … I don’t remember the amount, but it was HUGE. I haven’t even had earned income since 2008!!! If I really owed them, wouldn’t you think they would have asked for it sooner? :/

      Liked by 1 person

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