I don't know about you, but even though we have called the "Do Not Call List" we still get calls from solicitors and such trying to sell us something, ask for a donation, or scam us. I have discouraged our most recent scammer by blowing my husband's referee whistle into the phone every time they called. I think we have been removed from their call list. hmmph...
The other night while folding clothes and watching the news I heard the story of lady who was almost scammed by a group claiming to be the IRS and had convinced her that she owed over five thousand dollars and needed to pay it back asap or they would come after her and throw her into jail. This gullible lady kept the scammer on the phone while she did everything they told her to do such as drive to the nearest grocery story, purchase thousands of dollars worth of vouchers and proceed to cash them so that she could give the money to "someone" who was waiting for her in a parked car. Fortunately, the store clerk was pretty savvy and figured out what was going on and stopped the woman. I am sure the lady is pretty embarrassed by the whole ordeal but she wanted to alert the general public so she went to the news media.
The whole story reminded me of the time I was scammed. I was twelve years old. My brother wasn't at home, probably at camp or something, both my parents were at work and I was home alone. It was in the summer. The phone rang and the caller asked for my mom. I told them she wasn't home. He then asked for my dad. I knew better to tell him that my dad wasn't home so I told him that my dad was busy and couldn't take the call. The caller called my bluff and told me that he knew my dad wasn't at home, but instead he was at work and the caller knew that because he was at my dad's work and had a gun to his head. If I didn't do what the caller said then he would kill by dad. Also, he informed me that his partner was parked down the road from my house and was watching the door so there was no use of me going outside for help, because his partner would tell him and my dad would be killed. Imagine my horror! Too young and too innocent to know that none of this could possibly be true, but I was in shock. The caller then began to ask me a variety of questions. Mainly, he started asking what I was wearing. I told him, but he got angry with my answers. He wanted to know what I was wearing under my outside clothes. SNAP!!! RED FLAGS EVERYWHERE!!! I went red in the face and slammed the phone down. I immediately picked the phone back up to call the, I don't remember who, I think the police, but he was still on the other end and I could hear him breathing. I slammed down the phone again and decided to risk running across the street to the neighbors. Wouldn't you know, none of the neighbors we were good friends with were home. Ugghhh!!!! I then saw that the Collin's garage door was up. I ran through it and found Mrs. Collins hanging up her laundry. Breathlessly, I told her about the caller and that he was at my dad's work with a gun to his head. Wisely, Mrs. Collins got on her phone and called my dad. Imagine my dad's surprise when he gets a frantic call from his twelve year old daughter asking if some lunatic is at his office. My dad was safe but to reassure me he came immediately home to prove that it was all a scam.
Here is the other part. I had told the caller what I was wearing. I was afraid that if I went out in public some lunatic would recognize me by my clothes and come after me. I had no desire to go out in public ever again. My mom, however, made me go to Target with her that evening. I was so nervous walking through the parking lot. Oh, and I never wore that outfit again. No sir, I was not taking that chance.
A week later, the local news station did a story on this same caller. I wasn't the only person he had called. He had women doing all kinds of crazy things. So hearing the latest scam story over the news brought back a flood of memories and a reminder to not get sucked in. Oh... and they don't like it when you blow a Fox 40 ref whistle into the phone.