Cell Phone Survey: You've Won a Cruise to the Bahamas!
According to Phone Check Org
My Cellphone Rang
First of all, my phone doesn't use very much of my time.
I rarely get phone calls. Most of my contacts prefer to text. I get updates from Facebook, requests for information, and an occasional Hi, how are you.
I usually don't receive phone calls on a regular basis. That is, until the other afternoon. The first call came from a caller who identified himself as calling from the Health Department. His phone number showed up on my caller ID as 651-201-4982.
I was at a friends house when the man called. I didn't trust him so I told him that I wasn't home. You'd have to know me to understand when I answer the phone and tell someone I'm not home, it's humor. The only part about it, is that I wasn't home, but I'm me. So, he asked me if I was in a safe place to talk. I was visiting with my friends, so I said no.
Then, they changed it up. The second phone call the next day, came from a woman. I didn't get her name. For that matter, what difference would that have made, anyways. I have a record of my phone call. And, they have my phone number.
I googled it after I talked to the man and it came up as Minnesota Health Department on google, but only because people were complaining about it. Apparently, this is not a new survey, since the complaint was from three years ago.
Day Three - My Cellphone Rang Again
It was the same Health Department guy again. So, this time, I took the survey, since when you complete the request, the calls should go away. Right?
Well. Yes and no.
Remember how I said I don't get phone calls very often. Well. We don't a landline, so the only reason people would be calling, would be because it's my house phone.
Or, it's because the service is horrible in my house. I live in a 10 acre block of land in the country and there seems to be a 'dead zone' in my yard and in parts of my house. I can walk around in my kitchen and the display will alternately display "Leaving SVC area" and "Entering SVC area' and all I was doing was deleting my phone logs.
I Have a Flip Phone - Not a Smartphone
So - Today I Get Another Phone Call
Here we go. It's Friday. I got a phone call from 612-400-3366. It's an automated voice telling me that I can take their survey and the reward is a Trip for two/Cruise to the Bahamas. Just for completing their survey.
Well. I smelled a rat, but, I pressed '1' to take the survey.
The questions were about my opinions about Social Media. Did I think that Social Media disrupts my Privacy. Well. I said yes. The second question was something about Medical marijuana. Did I think it should be legalized for medical use. I said yes. I can't recall what the third question was. Doesn't matter anyways. Oh, now I remember. It was "do you, under the new Obama Care plan, know anything about how it affects you. Do you have health insurance? I answered yes.
But, as I finished the last question, it got all noisy and the person says "Congratulations. You've won a trip for two to the Bahamas. Press one and a Travel Consultant will be assigned to you.
My cellphone reception was scratchy and the call dropped.
Ok - The Call Dropped
I'm so used to my calls dropping or poor reception that I just shrugged my shoulders and folded my phone back up. When was I going to take a trip to the Bahamas anyways. I don't have a passport. I just got back from a trip to North Carolina, so I don't have a lot of promiscuous vacation time to use up.
So, I didn't care.
Five Minutes - Tops - The Phone Rings Again
Phone rings again. From 954-237-8081. It's a man who identifies himself as calling from the Travel Department from the previous phone call. Note: the phone number has changed. Interesting?
Well. He says that I have won my trip to the Bahamas and that I need to confirm how many tickets I wants
Okay - I Play Along
He chats briefly about my day. He now knows that I live in Minnesota and that the weather is 72 degrees. He oohs and aahs about how he is in Florida and how the weather is very hot and very humid because they get pummeled by weather from elsewhere.
He gives me his badge number. It's 1063. His name is Rafael. He has a pleasant sounding voice, reminds me of that song, "I'm all about that bass, no tenor'. He starts to tell me that he'll be discussing the details of my trip once he has some information.
He tells me that I'll need a picture id card or a passport for boarding the ship. He also mentions that I'll need a major credit card. I don't have a major credit card. We don't use credit cards. So, he sounds surprised and seems somewhat confused. No credit card? You NEED a credit card to take this trip.
So, apparently, after all my cooperation with all the callers, I don't receive my trip to the Bahamas after all.
And, I don't receive cash in lieu of the trip.
And, best of all. I will bet you good money, I WON'T receive any more phone calls.
The Nagging Question Remains
The one caller asked for my county of residence and my zip code. Did I over reveal?
Does it matter? I don't have any charge cards for him to tap into. So. I decided to make this page so you, the reader, could share information with others who may read this page.
The Attorney General
The Attorney General is just a phone call away. Their phone number is 651-296-7575.
How About You
Have you received phone calls from these Numbers?
Bahamas Cruise Scam
It's December and I have received another call from some obscure company taking a random survey so that I can win a trip to the Bahamas again.
And, of course, I'm curious. The last time I got a phone call, from the "Health Department," and finally after umpteen calls, I finally relented and took their survey. Many, many questions about what kinds of food I eat, how much I see the doctor, etc.
I just called the number above, you remember, the health department number I told you about in the first paragraph. Well. It's not the Health Department who answers the phone. It's Someone else.
Who? Well. The answering machine identifies the number as belonging to Abt SRBI, a National Public Opinion Firm. Really? That's interesting, isn't it?
Another Phone Call
Today, I received yet another phone call from 612-328-9641. I answered it because I don't screen my calls. Perhaps I should start. Anyway, the phone was an automated caller whose spiel started a few seconds after I said "Hello!". An automated message said something to the effect of congratulating me for being a winner, that I was offered the opportunity to receive two tickets to the Bahamas. All expenses included. Once again, all I had to do was answer three survey questions, which I patiently answered, and then, I was thanked for taking the survey and asked to press one for a travel agent to set up my boarding passes.
If you don't press one, you hear the message again. I didn't leave a message.
Five Minutes Later... The Phone Rings
I didn't answer the phone since I wasn't near my phone. There was no message left. No voicemail. Nothing.
I called the number back. It didn't even ring. That number is 507-535-6772.