4508 The Fraud Bureau
This trick seems to work. Instead of answering the phone “hello” answer the phone “Fraud Bureau, how may I help you?” The fraud calls all but stopped, just before changing the voicemail greeting to this:
Thank you for calling the Fraud Bureau. We’re closed today but will get back to you as soon as possible. Your call is very important to us. You are our eyes and ears in our battle against scams. Please leave a message at the tone.
Notice we never say what we’re a bureau of. That way there’s no crime on our end. Pretending to be the police is a crime. Most likely the same is true of pretending to represent a US Attorney, District Attorney, Snopes or the IRS.
We had a second voicemail message ready to go in case the first one didn’t work out.
You have reached an unassigned extension. Please call our main number, toll free. then give the number of dial-a-prayer or a defunct airline.
Even the regular robo callers have stopped. So someone must listen in on the sending end.
It was much more fun to play with these callers when most of them were made by live bodies. We told the chimney sweep service that we had none but maybe “...that explains why there’s always so much smke in the house.” We asked the roofing company to recommend a siding company. We asked the siding company if they installed doors and windows because “...our old siding company covered over all our doors and windows and we haven’t been able to leave the house for two years.”
Who could use sales calls to good advantage? Telephone companies. But they’re so busy spawning confusion with TV ads that they’ve decided to close their best possible avenue of sales. Also, they take the do-not-call registry pretty seriously. After all, phone companies are sort of regulated.
Not that siding companies aren’t at least in most locales. But you have to remember those siding companies aren’t really what they say they are.
There’s an upside to these calls. Sort of. When you get the sales calls, at least you know your phone is working. Of course, you could test that yourself. And when mom calls to complain that you never call, she’d have to find a new way to annoy you.
Here’s a response to those calls from mom:
Oh, mom! Thank God you’re alright. We’ve been trying to reach you for days.
She probably won’t believe you. But she won’t scold you either. After all, you’re her child.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Comments? Send ‘em here: firstname.lastname@example.org
© WJR 2019