Phone Scam Calls Have Taken Over our Home Phone and How I have Stopped Them
About what Percentage of Calls on your Home Phone would you Estimate are Telemarketers or Scams?
I don't know if your home phone rings the same way as ours does but I would say that 10% of the calls we get are from people we know or are actually legitimate. The bulk of the calls all day long are scams or some other annoyance that I don't have time to deal with. Most of my friends and legitimate contacts use our cell phones now.
I had already had my experience with the guy from "Microsoft" telling me my computer was infected. The first time they called I had just bought a new computer and registered it. I thought it was legitimate! I started to follow the guys instructions until I was directed to a non-Microsoft site and told to download a program. That didn't feel right and at the time I had a network support option with my company. I told the guy that I was just going to call network support and I was able to get rid of him. Thankfully I did not do as he instructed or I would have downloaded a program that DID infect my computer. I understand that I would then have to pay them to remove the virus. When they called again years later it was an Indian man with a heavy accent. This time I screamed "Oh my God... my computer is infected!!!" and I hung up. I guess that was entertaining for me. I couldn't believe they were still making those bogus calls years later.
I was just ignoring all of our calls from strange callers until lately when I started looking up the phone numbers online to discover that many of these were scams and some were new to me. I thought it would be fun to play with them a bit. I read that one guy answered the phone "8th District Police" and I thought that would be a good idea. I also thought that answering in Spanish might be fun or to have my 3 year old son pick up the phone. I tried them all.
To my dismay many of them were recorded scam messages. The latest was a live woman and my 3 year got the phone. He said "I am scared of the vacuum. Roomba vacuum is scary". The lady said "Excuse me?" and Jason repeated himself. She then asked if there was an adult home and he said "No, they are not home...". She hung up. I love that my son helped me out and was able to play along and chat until she gave up. He knows that most of the calls we get are "garbage". He has even stopped running to get the phone and says "it is probably just garbage".
Recorded Call from 626-642-5431
A person having fun with the Microsoft computer virus scam
Call Regarding Enforcement Action Instituted by US Treasury
The one recorded call I received was actually taped by my answering machine because I picked it up just as the machine turned on. Usually these fine people do not leave messages.
They called me three times that day. First call was from Orient, NY - 631-323-5110 and the next two calls were from Alhambra, CA - 626-642-5431.
The message goes something like this (heavy Indian accent):
"Hi, this message is intended to contact you. My name is Dean Martin (or is it Steve Martin?) and I am calling regarding enforcement action instituted by US Treasury intending your serious attention. Ignoring this would be attempted second offense to avoid an initial appearance before a magistrate judge or a grand jury for a federal criminal offense. My number is 626-642-5431. Again 626-642-5431. I advise you to cooperate with us and help us to help you. Thanks."
I think I got that about right. Notice how it makes no sense. I did try to call the number in the message by using *67 to hide my number but I just got a busy signal. I then called without the *67 and it rang but I hung up not wanting them to have my number.
I really hope that no one falls for this and calls the number. I imagine they will want money from you in order to "help you".
How I Stopped the Calls using Comcast Features
I was looking up one of the recent calls on the web and saw a note where someone figured out how to block calls with their Comcast phone. I imagine any service provider would offer the same feature...maybe even with the same code. You dial *60 on your phone to access call screening then follow the prompts to block numbers. I blocked every strange number on our Caller ID.
Today the phone didn't ring once. My 3 year old was having fun too. I am sure they will start up again soon with new numbers and new scams. When I tire of them I will block those as well. Fun times...
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