It’s been happening more frequently. And it’s irritating.
In the past, I’ve railed against these companies that are trying to sell me an extended service warranty for my car. Sometimes they call two, three, five times a day. Telling them to go away is useless, they keep returning. Telling my phone company to screen them is useless, they get a cut of these calls, I’m sure of it.
And it’s not just the cold-callers and spammers. Now I’m getting fake texts to my phone, pretending to be my bank or my credit card or my Amazon account. And I’m sick of it.
Let me explain. Here’s a screenshot from my phone, of a message I received on my phone last Friday. On New Year’s Day, yet.
Oh my God, my Bank of Amer1ca account is frozen! Oh, sweet Lord in heaven, whatever shall I do? I can’t have my Bank of Amer1ca account get closed! That Bank of Amer1ca account is important to me!! I need to log in and ver1fy it at this link…
You did see what I did there, right?
This cork-brained chowderhead company tried to catch me off-guard. First off, if there was ever a situation with my Bank of Amer1ca – sorry, Bank of America – account, they would call me directly. And they would confirm my last three purchases. Trust me, I’ve had my accounts compromised before, so I have two-step authorization and security features up the ying-yang on that card.
And even if this appeared to be legit, why in the name of nickels and dimes would I need to ver1fy – sorry, verify – my account with some company called yourpassionpath.com? Who the fuck is yourpassionpath.com?
No, I don’t want to visit the site. First off, look at the URL in the screenshot. You don’t even go to yourpassionpath.com, you’re going to some sub-site on the page. And after the URL, there’s a sub-URL that says ?id=boa. That, friends, is a piece of code that tells the scam site where this came from, and which sucker clicked on it.
So what could happen with this? It could ask me for some personal information – my bank account, password, social security number – or it could just dispense with that and add some nasty malware or ransomware to my phone. And that’s not happening, bro.
Ergo, the resolution in this blog post.
I’m turning on the phone recorder. In New York, it is legal for a phone call to be recorded, so long as one party in the conversation knows they’re being recorded. And if you bonkbrains try to fool me with scams for travel trips, or low-interest credit card loans, or (gasp) extended vehicle warranties, well, guess what, kiddos. You’re getting recorded. And you’re getting clowned. And the audio’s going on this blog. Hell, if it’s fun enough, I’ll post it on my radio show, too. And you will be clowned, and your scams will be exposed for all to hear.
Oh, and if you pretend to be my bank or my credit card company or anybody else with whom I currently conduct financial business, and I receive a text message from you like the one above, rest assured that the real bank and/or credit card company will receive a copy of that screenshot. I’m sure their army of lawyers will sue your sorry wretched GeoCities-based website ass out of existence.
You wanna dance? Trust me, when it comes to embarrassing scammers and swindlers, I’m Fred Astaire and you’re barely capable of a box step. You wanna step in the ring with me? You clowns, I’m Mike Tyson and you’re Nate Robinson.
Oh, and guess what. I know there’s committees in Congress that are trying to pass consumer protection against telemarketers, scammers and swindlers like you. And I am more than happy to send transcripts of these calls (along with the recordings) to every single person that represents New York in Congress. A disc for Chuck Schumer, a disc for Kirsten Gillibrand, a disc for Paul Tonko, a disc for Antonio Delgado, a disc for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, heck, I’ll even send a disc to Elise Stefanik, I don’t care.
Just know that you schavartzers have gone too far. I ain’t just hanging up like I should expect your call. You’re infringing on my time and my life.
You poked the bear.
Now you can expect to get a few claws upside your faces.
The telephone scams are probably more robocalls than physical scammers calling live these days.
For example, I get calls from people about credit cards, which I don’t have, or vehicle warranties, when I don’t own a car. Five seconds into the recording, I hang up. The telemarketers get your phone number somehow, and pass it along to other telemarketers. The Better Business Bureau would love to get information on these morons.
Chuck, your playing at Don Quixote here. The scammers are 2 or 3 steps ahead of your efforts. Many of these are from foreign sources, which the US has no control over. Most of these phishing attempts use spoofed phone numbers and increasingly are using port-out or sim splitting which allows them to hijack other peoples phone numbers. Hell, they could be using your phone number to make Robocalls.
You could end up turning yourself in as a fraudster. Just kidding (sort of). As long as you take precautions, it’s not worth getting your blood pressure up. It’s the world we live in today.
I understand your point, but I also don’t want to be one of Pavlov’s dogs either – just laying down and taking the electric shocks, like I need to expect to receive them.
Canada passed laws to block these scam calls. It worked for almost two weeks. They simply dial in from overseas where they can’t be caught. In fact the RCMP worked with India to shut down dozens of the boiler rooms, but they just keep opening up again.
The only real way to stop them is for everyone to be wise to their trash. Unfortunately they are counting on victimizing the vulnerable, and from that small margin they manage to steal enough money to make it worthwhile to continue.
Yeah we get ’em all here too. It’s surprising how Canada Revenue Agency phones us up almost daily to say we’ll be arrested unless we send them Apple iTunes cards. I wonder what Trudeau wants with all that music?
Maybe your Prime Minister needs to complete his collection of Martha and the Muffins recordings, I don’t know… 😀
Yeah, I’m retiring that term. I mis-used it.
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