Nostalgic Rumblings
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Another Phone Scam

Filed under: Telemarketing Scams & Robocalls — Charlie Summers @ 1:14 pm

Got the following on the answering machine (note the recording/generated voice apparently started at pickup, so it’s truncated in the beginning):

…expired, and all Microsoft services have been stopped on your computer. To renew license key please call {number removed}. Hi. This is an emergency call to notify you that the license key of your Microsoft Windows is expired. To renew license key please call {number removed}.

Obviously, this is bogus; if you get this message, do not call that number! According to the Soundboard Prank Calls Wiki, “The Indian Scammers are members of an India-based telemarketing and computer-fraud ring known as GuruAid (formerly Online PC Care). They pose as a legitimate technical support firm, but deliberately install malware onto their victims’ computer’s hard-drive, via remote desktop access ” Other websites suggest the fee to “renew” the Windows license key from these scammers is $199.95…yipe!

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Got a brand new robocall today!

Filed under: Telemarketing Scams & Robocalls — Charlie Summers @ 7:14 pm

This is the very first time I ever got this scam on my telephone, and this one is fascinating…there really is an American Chronic Pain Association, no idea whether they know about this scam or not, but here it is in all it’s bogus glory:

Don’t hang up! This is not a sales call! The American Chronic Pain Association, a national center for chronic pain management, has issued the following prescription pain pill alert: In an attempt to stop the growing use and abuse of prescription narcotic pain pills, America’s national health care providers are now authorized to provide a new experimental pain relief compound to anyone suffering from physical pain or discomfort. This compound cream is directly applied to the pain-related areas. It is non-narcotic, and extremely effective. This new pain relief compound is provided to you by your insurance carrier with no out-of-pocket expense to you, and your pain relief cream can be shipped immediately. Press 1 now to verify your address and delivery date. Again, press 1 now to arrange delivery. Press 5 now to notify your health care provider that you have refused this shipment.

Yes, of course, because every time a recorded scam artist tells me this is not a sales call, I automatically believe him…

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“John from shipping” called…again…and again…

Filed under: Telemarketing Scams & Robocalls — Charlie Summers @ 1:05 pm

Here’s another oldie-but-goodie; “John from shipping,” with his stammering delivery designed to give you the warm fuzzies about a real-person calling you in a desperate and unsuccessful attempt to hide the fact that it’s just another slimeball out to steal your money:

“Hi, uh, this is John from the shipping department of Emergency Medical Alert, um, I was calling to uh schedule delivery of your medical alert system, it’s, uh, the fallen and I can’t get up type of system you’ve seen on TV, looks like the system been recommended by thousands of hospitals and medical professionals, uh, let’s see, says here that the system’s already been paid for, looks like you’re getting the system because, uh, either yourself, a friend, a family member or maybe someone you know who’s experienced a fall in the past so, uh, again, s’already been paid for, so there’s no cost to you whatsoever. Also says here that the shipping has already been paid for, so to, uh, schedule the delivery of your emergency medical alert system press one; again to, uh, have your system shipped out to you, press one now. Press 5 to decline the shippment of your system. (New Voice) If you already have a medical alert system, please disregard this message. Again, if you already have a medical alert system, please disregard this message.”

The punctuation might be wrong, but after countless calls from this particular scammer, I’m pretty sure I have all the “uhs” and “ums” in the right places. Got this one again this afternoon, so it’s not only old, it’s still fresh.

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Announcing a new category - Telemarketing Scams

Filed under: Telemarketing Scams & Robocalls — Charlie Summers @ 11:52 am

Today we’re beginning a new category of posts here on the ol’ blog, Telemarketing Scams and Robocalls. It may be because I’m over fifty, or maybe everyone is getting these, but the number of robocalls I’m receiving has risen dramatically over the last year or so. With the cost of VoIP dropping every day, it’s trivially cheap for these scammers to make untraceable calls from outside the country into your home. I’m so sick of getting at least one every day, and sometimes three and four, that I’ve started reporting every one of them to the FCC and the FTC (created a macro for the more-involved FCC two-page report to complete the boilerplate name-and-address stuff so I can concentrate on the specifics of each call). Now, I’m pretty sure this is similar to spitting into the wind, and the only thing I have to show for it is a stack of responses from the FCC who apparently would rather waste the postage telling me there’s nothing they can do with every complaint I make instead of using that money to track down the scammers’ boiler room with an elite kill squad, but maybe if we all start flooding them with complaints they might get off their bureaucratic butts and do something about it.

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