Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Public Service Announcement

Tim got a call on his cell phone the other night. He. answered it. Almost immediately, he said, "Okay," and then he hung up the phone. I looked over at him. "Who was that?" 

He said, "I don't know. She said, "I'll call you right back." 

I said, "Why do you answer those phone calls? You're not supposed to. Let them go to voicemail. If it is someone important, they'll leave a message." 

He got cranky with me. "You didn't tell me that." 

I have. Multiple times, but when his phone rings, he answers it. Always.

He checked the number. It was from Jamaica. 

"Tiiiiimmmmm...." I said, And I googled  'why would I get a call from Jamaica telling me that they would call back' and up popped the answer. There is a business there that just randomly dial numbers one right after another. If the phone is answered, they say "I'll call you back," and hang up. Their job is done. They note the number as a live number and put it out into the world wide scammers. The website stated that this was only the first call in a flood of scam calls. 

Sure enough, there were three phone calls, one right after another. Tim did not answer them. I blocked the number on his phone. 

This morning, another came in. I typed the number into Google. These calls are coming from India. They claim to be your electric company, They spoof their identity so that you cannot tell that they are not, but a good clue is that the number will come up with no ID information. They tell you that they have a warrant for your arrest unless you settle the bill right now, with your credit card. They also threaten to cut your power. This scam goes out all across the company, and they have done their homework. They know the electric provider in each area that they call. 

I blocked that number too. Once again, I reminded Tim, "DO NOT ANSWER THE PHONE IF YOU DO NOT RECOGNIZE THE NUMBER! Let it go to voicemail!"

Now I am warning you too. 

48 comments:

  1. I don't answer I number I don't know. I give it about 2 minutes to leave a message. If it doesn't, I block the number. Linda in Kansas

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  2. I think I am fairly careful when answering/talking to strangers on the phone, but I didn't know about them checking if it is a " live number" , so thanks for that warning. I usually don't answer if it isn't a name in my phone and an unknown number coming from a far off city, but occasionally I decide to have some " fun" leading them on for a while. I shan't do that again. We got rid of our landline a couple of years ago as the only calls were " scam" type. ( We didn't have caller ID so had to answer in case it was someone who actually needed us!)

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    1. We gave up our landline a year and a half ago, for the exact same reason!

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  3. My husband is the same. He also is bad about answering the door anytime the doorbell rings. He thinks it is rude not to answer the door or the phone. We have had many discussions about this. He is better about it - but really fights himself not to answer. Jackie

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    1. That probably explains Tim as well as anything: he is a courteous person. Fortunately, he is married to a very suspicious woman.

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  4. We've had to nearly flip out on my mother in law with the same thing, and scare her half to death to keep her from answering the phone. She's 94, from the era where you ran and tripped over furniture to get the phone. And then there's us, deeply sighing when our phone rings, thinking, can't you just text?!!

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    1. These scammers really do prey on the elderly. It is disgusting.

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  5. Hell, I barely answer numbers I DO know! Haha!

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    1. And that was Jennifer, by the way. Not sure why I'm showing up as anonymous.

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    2. I suddenly was unable to comment on my own blog on my computer. They are changing something and it is aggravating.

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  6. I don't answer numbers I don't recognise. If it's important, the caller will leave a message.

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  7. I can still remember coming home from 5th grade, walking into the house and Mom icing a cake. I asked what it was for, she said a celebration. When I asked what we were celebrating, she said "Go pick up the phone". Picked it up, heard a dial-tone. I said "Where's Mrs. Davis?" (She was always on the phone on our party-line.) Mom said "We finally got a private line!"

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  8. My husband also has more faith and trust in the world than I do. Maybe growing up female prepares many of us to be on the lookout for liars and cheats?

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    1. This may well be true, although I have met many unscrupulous women in my day.

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  9. We were always taught to answer the phone politely as children. Not answering a phone is a hard habit to start. NEVER answer unknown numbers. I barely answer known numbers, too. Scammers can disguise their numbers by using area codes from your area, too. It is so much better to let them go to voicemail. You can call back immediately.

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    1. I just don't understand why disguising your number is even allowed. I cannot think of a single ethical reason for doing so.

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  10. I don't answer those calls, except maybe on the rare occasion when I might be expecting one. It has happened that a doctor's call was not identified.

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    1. Our doctor's office uses a call center out of Altoona...3 hours away! It gets pretty confusing

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  11. My phone is very good at telling me "possible spam" when it's...possibly spam. I do not answer. But yes, we are of the generation where we always answered the phone. Spam and scams were not a thing. Oh, sure, there have always been scammers but they didn't generally call your house.

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    1. Is that an app? Do you have android or an iPhone?

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    2. iPhone. Not an app. It just does it.

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  12. You need to take care of yourself Debby so you outlive Tim or he is most likely to be in serious trouble!

    Fortunately, I had a landline for so long and now that number is transferred to Google Voice and only sends me an email if someone actually leaves a message, I don't have those problems. But I worry about my ability to keep myself safe as scams are getting more sophisticated by the year.

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    1. He is just not a suspicious guy. He should be.

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  13. Good advice, Debby. I don't answer if I don't recognize the number.

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  14. I've been aware of this scam. I think they get your number from other sources as well.

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    1. Your number goes out all over the world. 😩

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  15. I had an awful day at work a few years ago and we were driving home when I got a call like that. I went up one side and down the other side of scammer, used every swear word I could think of and told them they should be ashamed of themselves, except I was yelling the whole time. I felt a little better:) Perhaps that is the only reason scammers exist, for us to yell at.

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    Replies
    1. Yelling at people is hardly ever cathartic to me.

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  16. I can block a small amount of numbers directly on my home phone. My phone carrier allows me to block a lot more numbers directly with them BUT the calls have to be answered first. I get around this by just picking the phone up and putting it back down again without speaking. I listen for a couple of seconds and often hear the call disconnect without anyone speaking at the other end - a clear indication of an automated call. I have confused genuine callers by doing this, but when I explain why we usually have a good laugh about it and agree what a pain these scammers are.

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    1. I was getting loads of scam calls and texts on my phone. A lot of porn links. The number belonged to a young man (irony of small town living? We KNEW him!) Those calls dried up when my phone was deactivated when I went to the UK. It was like magic.

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  17. My mobile is turned off for most of the time. It's not a smartphone, either, used only for cheap outgoing calls. The landline hardly ever rings these days, but the trusted know the number. Anyone else who wants me can send a letter. I don't really want to talk to anybody, anyway.

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    1. That last line made me let loose a bray of laughter. You don't strike me as an antisocial fellow.

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  18. When we do answer a call that ends up being something we don't want, we are able to block it from getting through again. My cellphone also blocks spam calls. It's a scary world of scammers out there.

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    1. We can block the calls as we receive them. I wish there was a way to block them at the source. They really take advantage of the elderly.

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  19. You have to take so much care..I'm educating Pirate....he is better, but that's after twelve years!!

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  20. I say the same thing to my partner and you correctly say they'll leave a message if it's important. I rarely miss a real call by this method.

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  21. Yep. And so many times, buying on many online sites gets you the same thing. Aggravating.
    I wrote a long reply to your post yesterday, and poof! It vanished. So I will just say, here's another hand raised. I am not religious, but I am spiritual, and believe that the forces of good and evil are certainly real and lively on this blue marble we call homw.

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    1. I was hoping that perhaps you'd gone to spam, but no such luck. Blogger is a funny critter lately! I'm grappling with how to be spiritual without believing in God. I feel like I'm on a good path.

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  22. I have gotten to the point that if I don't have the number in my contacts list I just terminate the call.

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  23. It's amazing the ways people come up with to scam each other. Having said that, I'd never pay anyone who called me threatening to arrest me for an unpaid bill. I'd say "Bring it on!" Because that's just ridiculous.

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  24. I never answer phone calls, unless it is a number I recognize. That's not what my phone is for.

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