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.
Notice 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).
And 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.
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 the 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.