March 6, 2013
We all know the woes of having a telemarketer call at dinner time or when you are in the midst of an important scene that needs your full concentration. In short, telemarketers are a pain in the arse. But what if those calls were cranked up times ten and were coming every hour day after day. I’ve become the target of just such a vicious company.
Last Thursday, I started getting robocalls from some unknown entity that when I finally answered to try to stop the madness, asked for a name, not mine. I told them they had the wrong number and hung up. They called again. A different number and city popped up on my Caller ID. But it was the same people asking for the wrong name.
“Wrong number. Put me on your do not call list.” More calls. I ignored the phone as best I could, but they were calling over and over. (So annoying!) This continued on Friday so I got mad and so I answered and threatened to report them to the FTC if they didn’t stop bothering me.
Well, they didn’t stop calling. The calls started again this morning, so I used *57 to trace the call (for law enforcement, just in case) and contacted the phone company (Comcast). The help desk referred me to their legal department. The guy who answered at the legal assistance listened to my tale of woe and said that this type of robocalling (a computer randomly selects numbers to dial and repeat dial) are routed through a random fake phone numbers so that the real source of the call is masked on Caller ID. He said because of this technique, the phone company has no way to trace the calls. Worse, the call centers are usually in India or Africa or other overseas locations where the American laws and government cannot touch them.
He said by threatening them (like I did about the FTC) or telling them not to call again (like I also did- groan!), they basically take that as a dare and call all the more. Great! He told me he’d heard of people being harassed who tried blasting the callers with an air horn when the marketers/scam artists called and only ended up getting more calls (every few minutes!) in the middle of the night as a result. I asked if he though routing all my calls to my fax machine/printer would make them think the line is a dead end and take me out of the computer. The legal department guy said it might help since it is actually a computer doing the calling. The computer might kick our number out of the system if it decided it was a fax machine line.
At this writing the situation has not been resolved. I’ve checked my credit history to make sure they didn’t have other info on me and were stealing my ID. I checked my credit cards for fraudulent charges. All seemed clear there. But the harassment is annoying and a little scary. The people on the other end of the line are far from professional. They sound half asleep or drunk. They hesitate and can’t finish a sentence. They mumble. Very creepy!
This point of this post is to serve as a warning to you. If these types of calls come your way, don’t engage them! Don’t answer, don’t tell them to go away, don’t threaten them. If you can make your calls go to a fax or go unanswered by even an answering machine, hopefully they will think the number is not in use and discard yours and move on.
Anyone else had experience with the multiple calls a day, day in and day out, Caller ID hidden scam artist harassment? As I type this, they are calling again!! Grr… Excuse me while I go bang my head on the wall.