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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Phone Safety!

I got a call a while back from a California number that I didn’t recognize. I answered the call and heard a very accented voice ask for the name of the former owner of my phone number. I know it was the former owner because when I first got my number I had received several calls for that person. The call ended after I explained that it was the former owner of the number and they have a old number.

I just “had a feeling” and I did an Internet search for the number. There were many hits, lots of lists of numbers, phone book type sites, then I finally got into the more specific sites. I saw the number had been repeatedly reported as a fraudulent number. I clicked one of those sites. The calls were actually Middle Eastern in origin, fed through a California number and they were usually threats demanding money owed to a company with which the receiver of the call had formerly done business. I was instructed to call homeland security and I did.

Homeland security was very polite in taking my information and asking the necessary questions. The officer I spoke with told me that it was a group looking to use fear to extort money from former customers of a payday type loan company. They aren’t sure where they got the lists of people. After getting my contact information in case they needed to follow up, he thanked me for reporting it and the call was done.

That’s creepy. Someone from outside of our country has a list of people who’ve used a legal loan service here. I mean that can happen anywhere, any service, ya know? So my message is PLEASE be careful when answering a call from a number you don’t recognize! Don’t ever give out personal information or credit card/bank information to someone on the phone unless YOU initiate the call and report any and all threats to the proper authorities!


No Reimer Reason said...

That is scary!!

We have had our phone # for almost 7 years and we still sometimes get calls for the previous owner (which is annoying, especially after so much time has passed). But we haven't gotten any scary calls like yours. Crazy!!

seamhead gypsy said...

a senior citizen in the town next to mine lost over $20 grand to an outfit working out of israel.

the good news is that they got caught, but i haven't heard if the poor gal got any of her money returned.

last week some guy from denver phoned me and wanted me to "invest" with him in some oil well. after engaging him in a conversation where i had no intention of giving him any of my hard earned cash he wanted to know why i had such a negative view. at first i wanted to laugh at him, but i calmly told him that i was a police officer for nearly 20 years and that i had first hand knowledge of how people like him prey on others. then i hung up on him. he phones every 3 months or so, and i suspect that i haven't heard the last of him.

seamhead gypsy