I think it probably happens to all of us at one time or another. The phone rings, you answer it only to have a short silence on the other end while some sort of technology kicks-in the a chirpy recorded voice says “Hi, I’m Amy”. I don’t know what Amy is flogging, because that’s as far as the call gets before I hang up; I sure hope she’s not telling me anything important. But yesterday’s call has me puzzled; not that that’s an unusual occurrence. At about 8:00 yesterday morning my land-line phone rang. With an iPhone as my main point of contact, ninety-nine percent of the time this is someone calling from the lobby downstairs to get in or with a delivery. The other one percent of the time it’s a marketing call or scam. Yesterday it was the latter.
A very heavily accented – Indian I think – man, at least not a robocaller this time, claimed to be calling on behalf of Windows (actually he said Vindows) in reference to a virus (wirus) on my computer. These calls are unfortunately not rare, but at least they have learned to ask first if I have a computer, as I used to let them go on for a few minutes before telling them I don’t have a PC anymore because too many idiots were calling to tell me how to fix it.
As is my wont with these callers, I let him ramble on for a while and told him I was carefully following his directions because I sure wanted this old computer to run smoothly. When I felt I’d had enough I told him he was having a very bad day because he had called Inter-Pol’s computer fraud line. I demanded his name and number; he told me he was in Africa and quickly gave me a series of numbers but no name before he hung up.
Having had my fun for the day, I chuckled my way down to my mother’s apartment for a coffee. A mere two flights of stairs later, as I was opening the door to her place, her phone rang and sure enough it was a similar call, but a woman this time. As my mother does not have a PC, and isn’t as devious as her youngest son, this was a short call.
Here’s what has me wondering. My call was on my land-line which is registered in my significantly better half’s name, so the callers were not using an alphabetized list. Is it just a coincidence that these two scam calls were made to two people with the same last name living in the same building within minutes? Also, I’ve never had one of these calls that early in the day so two within minutes has me flummoxed.
Here’s some information from Gregg Keiser of Computerworld on steps you can take if you get these calls.