Friday, October 09, 2009

The Saga of the Phone Scam. By Geniusofdespair

I guess it was perversely entertaining to put terrible people through a few hoops and then be able to dash their hopes for ill-gotten gain.

The federal government called me yesterday. I was chosen to get money back on my taxes in the recovery plan. Hmmm. Here is the story: The 'feds' knew my address but didn’t have my name quite right but I said I was that person anyway. They said they wanted to get the tax money into my bank account right away...they didn’t mention how much. In a very official manner they gave me their ID Number and my Case Number 4747. They said I needed to give them the last 4 digits of my Social Security number. I obliged, giving them 4 digits from my dead mother’s social security number. They needed my date of birth, which I made up, Feb. 1, 1917. They asked for my bank account number, I gave them a phony number, and a second phony routing number. They also needed the name of my bank. Supplying them with all this wrong information was wearing thin so I said I have to go to the doctor and hung up as they were in mid sentence.

They kept calling back and calling back, I put a *57 trace on the number and proceeded to call the State Attorney’s office (they didn’t care, but suggested I call the Attorney General). Bill McCollum’s office said to hang up on them. Duh. I told them I am trying to stop them from doing this to someone else. I said: “Can’t you do something they are calling back?” There was nothing that they could/would do. I called the Miami Dade Police Dept. Office of the Director, Glenn Theobald, they didn’t care over there either.

I gave up on the authorities doing anything about the perpetrators who were in the act of trying to scam me.

No sooner did I hang up the phone when the scammers were calling again. This time they said I needed to do a voice verification as the final step to get the money into my account and they were putting their supervisor on for that. The supervisor said “When I say okay, say yes.” Apparently they needed some kind of voice verification to steal the money out of my fictional account. So when he said “Okay” I said: “No.” He said, “No you have to say yes.” I said “No-yes”. After being prepped again I said, “No-yes." He said “Just say “Yes.” So I said: “Yes I have Alzheimer’s.” He didn’t like that either and was clearly exasperated. I was bored again so I said “I have to go” and I hung up.

They kept calling and calling. I finally got on the phone with a disguised voice and said “What are you doing with an Alzheimer’s patient?” They didn’t know what Alzheimer’s was (I actually think they were from another country). I said that the person they had been talking to is not able to make decisions and that I was their guardian and that they were not to call again.

That was the end of the scam saga. I guess it was perversely entertaining to put terrible people through a few hoops and then be able to dash their hopes for ill-gotten gain.


Jill said...

That's a lot more exciting than the scammers at my house.
For the last two days slightly scruffy looking guys have driven the couple of acres from our gate to the house and tried to sell me really great steaks that they just happened to have left on the truck after making a delivery and could ake me a very good deal. Rib eye steaks $2.00 a pound.
I need to get another Doberman. Irish Setters just don't have the same deterrent effect.
One look at good old Henry, and they wouldn't get out of the car.

Mustang Bobby said...

I admire your inventiveness. However, I have found that one of the fastest ways of getting rid of a phone scammer is to ask them what they're wearing. Works every time.

Geniusofdespair said...

I was trying to nail them, not get rid of them.

Jill said...

Yeah. Nice to know the State Attorney's Office and local law enforcement are so concerned.
But McCollum has more important things to worry about other than doing his job... like running his gubenatorial campaign and fundraising...

Judi Kregg said...

The whole concept of identify theft really makes me angry. Occasionally, you see reports of people being convicted for these scams but not often enough. If we can't interest law enforcement in a real crime being committed, do we have to become vigilantes to bring them to justice as you tried to do? I just don't know, but the concept of asking them what they are wearing made me laugh out loud. Thanks!

swampthing said...

Aiding n abetting? It is the phone comapanies that should shut down the scammers and compensate the scammed for damages. We're all wiretapped up the wazzu anyways. My dear mom gets solicitation calls everyday even though i put her on the national do-not-call list. how much is too many junk calls, junk mail, junk food and junk officials?

South Florida real estate blog said...

My mother had a great way of dealing with phone pests. They'd start their pitch and mom would say that she was very interested, but she left something on the stove, could they please hold on for a moment? Then she'd put the phone down and go on about her business. Some of them would stay on a long time thinking they had a live one.

sparky said...

once upon a time i was a telemarketer; different from scamming, at least somewhat. we could stop when we got a no twice, so i always tell people to (1) answer the phone and (2) decline, politely. that way you are taken off the data list.

Anonymous said...

Great story. Well documented.

It is sad the authorities showed no interest.