So today, one of my coworkers gets a call on his cell phone from the “Social Security Administration” about fraud on his account, Oh my, He is to call them back. He does. They ask his name (guy on the other end of the phone has a thick accent). He tells them “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.” They ask him to spell it. He does. At this point, I was about to explode trying not to laugh out loud.
Him spelling it out. Oh my. They have NO CLUE that they are being spoofed. He kept them on the line for 10 minutes or so.
Shortly thereafter, I get the same call (our phones have similar numbers). My name you ask? First name? William. Last name? Clinton. Middle initial? J. What does that stand for? Jefferson. They have no clue. They ask for my zip code, I didn’t know the zip code for Washington DC, or I would have given it (or should I have used Hope’s zip code)? Oh, and the last four digits of my SS#? 4242
Kept them on the phone for about 10 minutes. It was GREAT!!!
I got the same call, didn’t recognize the number so let it go to voice mail and you get a real cheesy recording threatening you with jail if you don’t call right now. So, I called them and got “Officer Brown” from the Social Security Department with a New Delhi accent. I started asking him for his Social Security Number, Badge Number, location, etc. so he hung up. When I was laughing at how lame this all was to a friend, he said they intend them to be that lame so sharp people mostly don’t bother them and only the clueless call back. Makes kind of wierd sense.
So, I am driving home (takes me about 45 minutes) so I decide to call them again. I try bunches of times, some calls they don’t answer, some the hang up on me pretty quick, but I am learning things not to say to them. I finally get a lady who bites on my line. I keep her on the line for over 20 minutes. It turns out there is a warrant out for the arrest of William Jefferson Clinton with the last 4 digits of his Social Security number being 4242, in the state of Texas. But, since I deny being in Texas in the last few years, it must be identity theft and this lady is going to help me out! I freak out at all the appropriate times, almost crying in despair about how am I going to fix this! She has to repeat her name and badge number to me several times as I misunderstand. She finally transfers me to the Division of Alcohol and Tabaco. It hard not to correct her, but, I let it go.
I then am on the line with someone from ATF (at least he knew that much). I again have to be calmed down several times as I freak out over the fact that there are arrest warrants (now it is more than one) out for me. It seems they need to issue me a new SS#, and to protect the money I have do things. What those things are, isn’t clear at this point. Then, I am told to take a picture of my drivers license and my ATM card and text it too them. But dang it, my phone doesn’t have a camera on it, I can’t do that. (I almost lost him at that point, he asked me what type of phone I have, I told him a flip phone.) I offer to drive over to the photo copy store and make copies and fax it to him, but no, that won’t work.
So the second plan is I need to drive to my bank and take all my money out. But I need my Drivers License with me. I tell him I am about 30 minutes from the bank as I live out in the country. He says to keep him on speaker as I drive into town. Realizing I have messed up by saying I am 30 minutes from the bank, I tell him that I forgot my Drivers License and to hold on while I go look for it. 5 minutes later, I still haven’t found it, but maybe I left it in my pants and my wife washed them, hold on a little longer. He is still there. I wait another 5 minutes and come back. I guess I waited too long that time, he is gone. All in all, I had them on the phone for over an hour! It was great.
On a serious note, if you have older parents, cover this with them. I know one older lady who fell for this last Fall.
We get the Im w Microsoft and there’s a problem w your computer. Now all we have are apples . I say I’m so glad u called, I need this fixed. You can tell he or she is probably high fiving someone, got a sucker here. I ask if they need my ssn, visa number and security code and they are speechless for a bit. I give them all fake credentials and they tell me they will get my problem fixed soon.
I own a restaurant in South Florida and the scam around here is you get a call from Florida Power and Light saying they are about to shut your electricity off for nonpayment unless you give them a credit card. The first time they called I asked what my last bill was and of course they didn’t have a clue so I went and bought an air horn knowing the call would occur again. Two days later they called and I said I needed to get the credit card from my car hold on… I came back with the air horn and asked the guy if he was ready for the card info and he said yes… I blasted the phone for 10 seconds and they haven’t called back in ten months.
Got a call from a dude with a simular accent a while back. He said I had “won” a government grant. Told the guy “you gotta be kidding”. He asked me if I knew what a grant was…I said “sure free money”. I told the dude I was so excited and asked him if I could record this call. He said sure. Then I kept going on and on about how lucky I was and he kept moving towards the end game of me giving info or sending him cash. Finally he asked a question and I replied “I’m with he FBI and we know who you are and where you are located”.
Dude hung up. I think I only had him on the line for about 10 minutes but it was so fun.
I know you guys are having fun, but it’s not as smart of a game as you might think. Yes, you can mess with them, but they can mess with you far more than you can ever imagine. They don’t have to stop calling you and they can call on an automatic system so fast that it will make your head swim. I wouldn’t toy with them like that.
So there are times that they will get mad and decide to make your life a living hell with the number of phone calls you might get on an automatic system. You can’t block them. The incoming numbers change.
I have been explained that by police and fraud officers. They can’t really do anything to someone in New Dehli. There is nothing that can stop them if they decide to inundate your number with phone calls, if they really decide to hammer you. They can.
I’ve had at least one law enforcement officer tell me that he had to change his number because he tried to mess with them. He got so many calls to an official police phone that it was not usable. Nothing any federal authority could to to stop it because it was rooted in another country.
The best thing you can do is immediately hang up. That’s plenty. I almost never answer those calls. Or if I do, I don’t say a word and they hang up. If they don’t get an immediate hello or real voice, the call never goes to a real person.
If they do figure out that you are messing with them, they can and do sometimes make your phone unusable by the number of auto calls you will have to field.