So my wife picks up the phone this morning and hears a solemn, dreary female voice intone, “This call is from Social Security Administration–” Here Patty hung up.
Note the absence of the “the.” Not the Social Security Administration. Like, maybe there’s more than one?
I wonder what the pitch would have been. Were they angling for confidential information–so helpful in any enterprise involving identity theft–or would they try to sell us something? Maybe sign us up for a time share at Chernobyl.
We probably get half a dozen of these calls a day, and sometimes more. Law enforcement seems unable to stem the tide. The telephone has become a burglary tool–or are they just into pure harassment?
We got five of these calls yesterday–answer the phone and there’s no one there. It’s really annoying!
Reading up on it, we find two chief causes of nobody-there phone calls: 1) telemarketing robots mindlessly dialing numbers even when the telemarketer isn’t there to pester the victim; and 2) collecting in-use phone numbers for sale to criminals who want to steal your identity or hack into your bank account.
The advice we get from all sources is, “Just hang up.”
I don’t know why telemarketing is allowed at all. Actually, one of my first jobs after college graduation was as a telemarketer for Time-Life Books. At least I was a real person whom the victim could curse at and call names. I mean, when you’ve just sat down to your dinner, and you’ve got a loved one in the hospital, you’re gonna get up and answer the phone, aren’t you? And when it’s nobody–!
These calls are up there with aiming floodlights at your neighbor’s bedroom window all night, or cutting loose with your leaf-blower at 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning.
We got our new Wal-Mart card in the mail today. Oops, wait a minute–we didn’t. The envelope was cut open and there was no card inside. Someone stole it.
This landed Patty with 40 minutes on the phone to get the new card canceled before the thief could use it. Why it took so long, we can’t imagine.
Thankfully for us, the thief made a stupid mistake which allowed us to remedy the situation before it really burned us. I’m not going to tell you what the error was, lest some dumb crook out there should read this and correct his error. Professor Moriarty would never have botched a crime like that. But then the jails are full of stupid criminals who didn’t think things through.