‘The Newest Phone Scam’ (2017)

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With much of The Great Quarantine still in force, and many of us stuck at home for more of the day than usual–boy, do we get robo-calls! Every nuisance in the world has our number. And sometimes they come up with something new, like this:

The Newest Phone Scam

It’s brutal. Yesterday we got “This is your final notice” three times, and of course we got “This is an apology call,” too. In 2017 they came up with the Fake Wrong Number Gambit.

Why can’t our all-wise, all-powerful government put a stop of these? Why would we want to give them more power, when they can’t even slow down the scammers?

14 comments on “‘The Newest Phone Scam’ (2017)

  1. Oh, I get tons of those, too. They are so annoying, just when I am really “doing” something, here they come again. I feel like throwing my phone in the garbage.

    1. Normally, I don’t answer unknown numbers either. But sometimes if I notice that the same number is calling over and over — or a series of very similar numbers — I answer just in order to hang up during the pitch. Sometimes the robocaller is programmed to keep calling until someone answers, and many of them are also programmed to sense the difference between a human response and a voice mail recording.

    2. Sometimes–not all the time, alas–it stops the robot cold if I answer in Hittite “Vadar ma ekkuteni” (“You will drink water”).

    3. You could also try “Nu ninda han ezzateni,” which is Hittite for “Now you will eat bread.”
      And that exhausts my store of Hittite aphorisms.

    4. Hmm, maybe I’ll try one of the few sentences I remember from my college Sanskrit classes: Gajau gandham jighratas, which means “the two elephants smell the perfume.” (This comes in handy if you’re ever at the zoo and someone drops a bottle of perfume near the elephant cage and two elephants come over to the fence to investigate.)

  2. That occurred to me too, Lee. Why can’t the government stop these robocalls? Then it dawned on me that I’m doing what the leftids do – look to the government to solve all our problems!

    This is my approach now.

    If there is no caller ID, I listen for them to leave a message. If it’s a family member or friend, they will usually leave a message, then I call them back. Robocallers don’t usually leave a message.

    If you think it might be a friend and pick up, and it is a robocall, the damage is done (they’ve ID’d you as a live person and they’ll try again.) So, you might as well listen to more of the message. Sometimes if you listen to the whole message it gives you the options of pressing 7 to be connected, or pressing 9 to be removed from the list. (There’s a possibility that doing that also IDs you as a live person, but I don’t know that yet.)

    Anyway, persisting in this approach over time has helped me a lot. The robocalls are down to 1 or 2 per day.

    1. That’s exactly the strategy I use. Once you answer a robocall, the damage is done and you will almost certainly be treated to more robocalls. These are not the efforts of some struggling local business, they are criminal acts, abusing the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) and violating laws in place that govern solicitation calls. Many of these calls are coming across the Internet and are, for all intents and purposes, untraceable. Most originate offshore. You are up against sophisticated methods which are looking to gain as much information as possible with these calls. Picking up the phone tells them that this is an active line.

      Recently, I had a fairly major transaction taking place , which involved numerous phone calls from various entities. I had no choice but to answer calls from unknown sources during this time and, unfortunately, some robocalls made it through. There was a temporary uptick in these sorts of calls, but fortunately, it has since settled down.

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