An Old Phone Scam, Tried Again

Latest Phone Call Scams: How to Stop & Report Them

So the phone rang a few minutes ago, and I thought my editor was calling me… but it wasn’t.

“Hi, Grandpa.”

“Who is this?”

“Your grandson.”

I don’t have a grandson, so I hung up. It’s been years since we got this scam tried on us. I’m your grandson (name never volunteered), and I need bail money/need to pay off a loan/gimme yo’ money, whatever.

Obviously what they’re trying to do is get hold of some hopelessly senile Joe Biden types and swindle them out of their money. Isn’t this shameful? It’s like the whole Western world sinks to a new low every day. They hope their victim doesn’t even remember whether he has a grandson or not.

Preying on the helpless. What kind of subhuman parasite does that?

I’ll bet we get nine or ten scam phone calls every day.

And then there’s Congress…

6 comments on “An Old Phone Scam, Tried Again

  1. Happened a while back but on this occasion this knucklehead threatened to shut off our poweer if we didn’t pay last month’s bill. Easy enough to figure out, I went to my online billpay account under my Avista and I showed my wife the October payment was paid. The idiot on the other line hung up and our power was never shut off as threatened.

  2. Although I’m no fan of much of what technology has done to reduce our privacy, I am actually pretty happy with my smartphone, because it is capable of some clever things. If someone calls me, and their number is not in my list of contacts, my phone doesn’t ring. I still see the call in my history, but it goes straight to voicemail. If someone calls for good reason, they will likely leave a voicemail and I can call them back, and if it’s someone I want to be able to call me, I can add them to my smartphone’s address book. I would venture that I get 2-3 calls from unknown numbers, every day and I’m spared the burden of even hearing the phone ring when these come in. If they don’t leave a message, that’s fine, I just delete the call from the record and go on with life. I’m cautious, because most unknown callers are either trying to sell me something I don’t want, or are scammers.

    I will mention one thing about Caller ID. One of my jobs is administrating my employer’s phone system. The Caller ID, which is known as ONI (Originating Number Information) can be easily manipulated in any modern phone system. ONI (caller ID) of a call is not necessarily an accurate portrayal of where a call comes from. It would be a simple matter to manipulate the ONI of a call to reflect a location that would seem to be close by to the recipient of the call. I receive any number of calls with purport to be from the same block of 10,000 numbers as my mobile phone. A solicitor or scammer can make their call appear to come from your neighborhood, or set it up to appear to come from any location they desire.
    a scammer, posing as a grandchild stranded in Dubuque IA could make their call appear to have originated in Dubuque IA. What would it take to do this? A $10 per month account which an online phone service would do the trick, and it’s virtually untraceable.

    Most calls emanating from my employer’s phone system bear the ONI of the company’s main number, and we do this to protect our employees from inadvertently ending up on the receiving end of solicitation calls. If someone calls the main number, they have to navigate the IVR (Inbound Voice [call] Routing) tree, including the ability to use a directory to locate a specific employee’s extension.

    This might seem impersonal at first blush, but if we didn’t do that, the time of highly paid software engineers would be squandered by frivolous sales calls.If I am doing business with someone, I make sure that they have my direct number and email address, so they don’t have to jump through hoops in order to reach me. Anyone else, has to go through the maze of IVR, but can reach me if it’s important enough to justify the time required to do a corporate directory lookup. I don’t like that things have to be like this, but this is the world in which we live. Sadly, the decency and respect people should have for one another’s privacy has become a thing of the past and people misuse contact information all the time. So, we have an elaborate IVR which allows serious calls to come in and (hopefully) frustrates the scammers and unwanted sales calls.

    I miss the decency of days gone by.

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