Jan 14, 2021

We simply had to put this up -- What is the oddest conversation you've had with a telephone scammer

 We simply had to put this up, an entire post from a member of Quora, our favorite Q-A internet site (which features the invaluable physics whizz Victor T. Toth). Here, however, we have Grizzly Coleman, who "leans" towards  "atheism" (as opposed to the people that storm the Capitol):

I had a bunch of these.

There was a time where I’d challenge myself to keep scammers on the phone for the longest amount of time - my record was 49 minutes and one of the rules I set for myself is that I’m not allowed to be the one who ended the call.

I had a chalk board near the phone and put another “notch” on the board every time I got one to hang up, I still have the 100% success rate, although don't get many calls these days.

I’ve done the usual “dottering” old man thing with the Microsoft virus scamers for the most part, walking away from the phone for a couple of minutes at a time pretending I was on my hands and knees trying to plug in a hard to reach modem so they could connect, until saying something like “Always have trouble pluggin the iPad thingy into the modem”

But the funniest one was a woman using a scam that was going around Australia a few years ago. They’d offer budget holidays to several Australian locations.

They were usually for nine nights for two people, but you could reduce some of the nights for extra people for the same price.

The first part of the conversation was location - “I really want an Island location”

She suggested the usual Australian tourist spots in Queensland, I said I wanted to go to Torrens Island, and after she “Apparently” checked she said she could get me there. Torrens Island is a power station island in South Australia, also used as a quarantine location from time to time - I used to go fishing there as a kid

Torrens Island - Wikipedia

“Great” I said

She said “So nine nights for $X” (I really can’t remember the price offered,..)?

“No, I’d like one night for 18 people; I have a big family”

She kind of started to smell something was not right at this stage — there was an audible sigh on the phone, but had invested so much time she thought she better continue just in case.

“Yes, we can arrange accommodation for large families.”

“Okay, but what’s your policy if we need to bring back more people than we left with?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I have three daughters in the family who are pregnant, ready to drop any day now. If I go over with the family of 18, I could be needing to return with 21! What happens then, do we need to pay extra?”

I figured it was all over at this stage, just silence for a few seconds.

All this time I was walking around the house with the cordless phone; if I keep moving I tend not to break character and laugh so much. At this point of the call I was walking close to the toilet, so I walked in and flushed it.

“Hold on a sec, I just gotta put the phone down to wipe.”

I kept listening, and after a a couple of seconds I had another notch for my chalkboard.

My wife hates that chalkboard,..

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