Listen up….

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This may turn out to be one of those posts I’ll delete later. But for now,  please bear with me: I have to rant.

A couple of days ago, I received eight…count them, eight phone calls on my land line within three hours, all of which were junk.

I love technology. I’m the person friends call when they’re having computer issues. But when it comes to cell phones, I’m 100% dinosaur. My cell is an old flip model, and is always off. Unless I am traveling, or have to communicate with family or friends during emergencies, I do not use it. So, if a junk caller is using that number, they’re getting bupkis.

But, because I have family and friends who are in their “Golden years” (if you are over 60, you’ll understand why I’ve used quotation marks), and who have numerous health issues, I never turn off the ringer on my phone. And, even though I have both caller ID and voice mail, each piercing ring delivers a jolt to my nervous system which ruins my concentration. The interruptions can double the amount of time it takes to complete anything.

To make matters worse, junk callers have found ways of not only circumventing our ability to block calls, but also tricking us into answering, by routing solicitations through legitimate and recognizable numbers. So, a few weeks ago, when a call came from a local hospital, I answered. Within seconds, I realized I’d been had, and hung up. When I called the number they’d used, it was genuinely a line at the hospital. The woman who answered was shocked, and promised to report the incident to their tech department. To the hospital’s credit, someone from corporate headquarters reached out to me a couple of days later to apologize.

But the problems continue.

And it’s because every time we answer, or click, or donate, or sign a petition we become data to be mined. And the result is that we are inundated with junk and spam and pleas for money that demand our time and attention in the most obnoxious ways.

Therefore, to those who have somehow succeeded in getting me to answer a call I did not solicit, and who have:

Robo-called me;

Called to sell me something;

Called to ask for donations;

Called to ask for additional donations;

Used the phone in an attempt to frighten or intimidate me;

Claimed I’ve won something;

Claimed to be from anyone’s tech support;

Claimed there’s something wrong with my computer;

Tried to influence my vote;

Or, dared to address me by my first name…

…you will also get NOTHING. 

I will hang up without a second thought.

There. That’s better.

Dear Readers, thank you for your indulgence.

Peace.

©2017 All Rights Reserved

 

 

20 thoughts on “Listen up….

  1. Scribe Doll says:

    I was being rung by the same company selling something every day, for months. Finally, I listened to the whole message and pressed the option for requested call back. A few days later, someone called me (an actual human). So I asked them to delete my details from their database and never call me again. Easy. I was happy for a few weeks… after which the calls restarted!

    In Britain, we have something called “Phone and Fax” preferences. Your details are circulated to all the marketing companies so that they never call you. If any ever did, you could just say “I’m on ‘phon and –'” and they’d immediately apologise because they knew they could get fined. Nowadays, many call centres are based abroad, so there’s no way of tracing their number or doing anything about it, except paying the phone company extra to block numbers and have caller display.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Barbara Froman says:

      We had the same sort of thing here, a “Do Not Call” list. But, as you say, since so many of the call centers are not in the country they’re calling, and most of those calls are made robotically, the list is almost worthless. This seems to be a real international problem. What a nuisance!!

      Like

  2. courseofmirrors says:

    Finding no intelligible way to stop this nuisance, I decided to be positive about the disruption, considering it as an opportunity to get up from my writing chair. I despise the calls – one second pause or the background noise of many voices is telling enough. My way of comeback is not responding in any way, but leaving the line open – I don’t hang up. This blocks the line for the caller, at least for a minute or two, which costs them 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. julespaige says:

    I too have a flip phone that is mostly off. But – for all the land line phones in my home only one ringer is on. And I don’t answer 99.99% of the calls. But I have fun investigating them at 800notes.com or Googling them.

    I’ve been getting weekend and evening calls from Philadelphia. I don’t live in Philly and know no one there. So I pick up and hang up or just ignore it. I don’t have a call blocker. Most have a limited capacity anyway. Even 100 – 300 spaces isn’t enough. And my home number used to belong to a business over 10 years ago. I still get referrals for that business – and had to buy a fax machine to capture the bogus faxes – Just to stop ‘their’ faxes from continuing to try to send faxes at 3 am.

    I will occasionally pick up and just hang up. But never, never call the number back. I can see though why you did call the hospital back. But spoofed calls are a reality. And that is why when I am home 99.99% of the time if it is a number I am not 100% sure of, I let my answering machine pick up first.

    I have a staggered message. I say; “Hello….” and there is a few moments for them to speak, but then the real message kicks in. So sometimes I catch the Robo or real sales pitch. But ‘They’ almost never leave a message after the beep. Because if they aren’t ID’d properly I won’t pick up.

    I’ve also been inundated with unidentifiable Energy Switch calls. No proper ID – not important. That’s my mantra. Known charities I won’t pick up either. Because too many of these companies are bilking money for themselves and only give 10% or less to the charity they are calling for. Most FOP or Fraternal Police calls fall into that category – most of those are not identifies as such. And I also pick up and hang up on Politicians.

    Anything with just City and State or just City or just State in the ID is most often bogus. I’ve even gotten out of country calls. I never pick them up. And if it is a name I don’t know, most often the ID was in fact ‘Spoofed’.

    I do get less calls since I don’t answer. But never, never pick up your phone and just say; “Yes” That was on the news – The spam caller can somehow take that “yes” of yours and manipulate it into an acceptance of what they have offered. So be forewarned. I feel your pain. If you do nothing else get at least the Caller ID service from your phone company.

    I do get a few on my cell phone. But I never pick up an unknown number on my cell. Never!

    I’m not even good enough with a computer to send complaints to the right places. But quite a few folks do. It is annoying when another country buys up hundreds of numbers just for Telemarketing use. Many from Russia. Though some are also bought up by Malaysia.

    I actually keep a note book and record the date, time, ID and number to see the frequency or patterns. Like the latest one ID’s as Starnet Paete – One person ID’d that with the false Grama I am you grandson and need money scam. And another ID’d it with some security alarm company.

    If I wanted any of these services I would do my own research and would never ever take a cold call offer. So they aren’t getting anything from me. Thanks for the space to hopefully help others with this issue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Barbara Froman says:

      Ah, yes! The energy switch calls! We get tons of them! Those and the calls from “Cardholder Services.” Ack. Such a nuisance.

      As you point out, it is essential to avoid picking up. I screen every call that comes in, but occasionally, as I said, they use a number from a place whose services friends and neighbors use, such as a local hospital. That absolutely infuriates me, but with scammers buying up numbers, it’s impossible to avoid.

      I am so grateful you warned people here about answering with the word, “Yes.” I never do (I’m a “Hello” person :-)) but I know many people who do, and it’s important for them to know the perils associated with that.

      Thank you so much for commenting and sharing such a wealth of information! And, on a personal note, how delighted I am to meet another flip-phone user! Hear, hear! I hope yours is as much of a workhorse as mine. Those little devices are great!

      Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. julespaige says:

        Answering the phone is quite different from when we were taught to say; “This is the Smith Residence. How may I help you.” So, never ID yourself to a sales pitch. Though some say may I please speak to ‘Jane’ and it doesn’t matter if you are Jane or not because then they say; “Oh, sorry. Maybe you can help me?”

        It is scary when they ask for the right name though first name or last name. But they are getting that info from a very old directory. And use your name to try and become familiar, as if they have done business with you before.

        Only time I use my Flip is when I’m out of the house. I’d love to take some of these ‘numbers’ to a pay phone and call them and say; “Look yourselves up on 800 notes – then you’ll know why no one is falling for you!”

        My phone may not be smart, but I am 😉
        I don’t do most social media either. But I do understand the need for FB – though my nick name for them is ‘FacePlant’. Because so may users abuse the system. I don’t need to see what you ate for dinner or where you went or are going on vacation. There you go tipping of the neighborhood thief telling them you aren’t going to be home.

        Cheers back 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. sammee44 says:

    This problem is an international one–scary, huh? There are call-centres all over the world and this is what they’re paid to do! It use to be at dinner time but now it’s anytime and yes, it is definitely annoying!! Glad you ranted–you have a lot of suuporters 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Barbara Froman says:

      Thank you for the support! I just can’t believe how widespread this is. I’m waiting for the day that someone figures out how to stop them! In the meantime, it seems all we can do is screen those calls! Sending cheer! 🙂

      Like

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