Late this afternoon my landline phone rang. A woman announced that I was eligible to receive $9,000 from the U.S. Treasury.
I didn’t respond, immediately, because my gut told me she was a fake Fed. To get real here… since when would Uncle Sam ever cough up even one red cent… let alone $9,000?
Well, I could not help but hear the distant voices of the dozens of other operators crammed into their “boiler room” and just knowing that some of them were succeeding got me to weighing the pros and cons of my playing mind games with this woman.
You see… by my way of thinking… every minute of hers I could waste would be one minute less that she’d have to phone other (regrettably gullible) folks. The lure of easy money can and does tend to cloud over common sense.
Now, getting back to the conversation with my scammer… she asked if I was still there and if I could hear her. I then asked her to repeat what she had said. She did so and then asked if I was interested in receiving this money?
I told her that the U.S. Treasury should keep the $9000 and suggested they use it towards paying off the $19 Trillion U.S. debt. At that point, she hung up on me.
Going online, afterwards, my Google search filled in the rest of this blatant scam’s particulars… how they trick folks into divulging their bank account / credit card numbers as well as other sensitive personal info. Oh, and here’s the real kicker… they also expect all who they sucker in to buy them $200 gift cards.
Well, it turns out my decision not to antagonize her was wise. That Google search also reported how some potential victims… when they tell these scammers that they are on to them… well… that’s when things get downright ugly / scary. You see, these crooks can and do go nuts… oft yelling and uttering threats, such as…
“We know who you are and where you live and I’d be careful if I were you.”
Needless to say, it’s usually best not to engage them in any war of the words. The way I had handled this matter proved to be appropriate… I did emphatically say “NO” and proved I wasn’t a sucker… all this accomplished without excessively pissing her off.
But what really pissed me off was that my phone would not immediately disconnect from their phone system… I could not get a dial tone back for about three minutes. Which made me wonder…
What if someone else they had tried to scam, at that crucial moment, had desperately needed to call 911. Those three minutes could be the difference between life and death.