Scams and Thieves

It’s always good to hear from people. A phone call is a wonderful thing.

Yesterday, while aimlessly reading about some aspects of history (I won’t bore you) my phone rang, and I picked it up.

There was a silence.

Now, OK, the silence lasted perhaps five or six seconds, but when you’re thinking of detailed characters and in-depth work on a plot, those seconds seem like a bloody long time.

Still, after the pause there was a burst of music of some sort, and then a happy, cheerful voice.

I am used to the fact that many telephone services have been exported to the Indian subcontinent. I am used to the fact that almost any type of computer support means a call to Delhi or Mumbay. I don’t have a problem with that.

In fact, I have had a kind of love for India since first reading “Flashman” many years ago. George MacDonald Fraser was so brilliant at evoking a period and brought the smells and heat to life. I like India. One day I will go there.

I have nothing against India or Indians.

However, I do have a lot against people calling me when I’m working. Especially if they’re intending to rob me.

‘Michael Jecks,’ I said. OK, I may have been a little curt. I was busy.

‘Sir, how are you today?’

‘What are you selling?’

One benefit of having been a salesman is the right to be rude to other salespeople.

‘Sir, we are …’

‘I said, what are you selling?’

‘Sir, your computer is running slowly because we have seen a …’

‘Don’t give me that ballocks!’ I said and hung up.

To be honest, I may have said a little more, but I don’t think so. And it was a pity.

You see, if I’d had my brain in gear, I may have been able to keep him on the phone for a while. I may have learned more about his spiel, perhaps got more from him about his company and so on. At the least I would have stopped him calling someone else for a bit.

But probably not. What he was trying to get was my credit card details so he could rob me. Yes, call me a cynic, but he was lying. My computer was on, in front of me as I spoke, and working fine. And with the firewalls I’ve got, it would take a guy quite a while to get through to it. A phone centre making, clearly, many calls on an autodialling telecomms system ain’t going to have the time.

Why am I bothering to justify this? The guy was clearly working in a boiler room for crooks. And crooks being crooks, he may actually have been calling from Azherbajan – or London, for all I know.

In any case, I’ve given no one permission to link to my computer. He was admitting to fraud by telling me the computer was slow.


But if you get a call like that, do bear in mind that the best approach is mine. Just hang up on the thieving scrotes.

And never, never, give them your credit card details.

10 Responses to “Scams and Thieves”
  1. akhenkhan says:

    I get similar nearly every day, but via email and not from India but China Michael. The ‘Report Spam’ button gets a flogging from me LOL :)


  2. Did he know who he was messing with? Remember that taxi driver in San Francisco, who all but crapped himself when he asked us what we did for a living?


  3. BTW, your desk looks disgracefully well organised.


  4. MeToo says:

    They have set up local and national agencies for unsolicited calls. It helped for a while and companies or individuals were fined for calling after you told them not to do so. The problem is that today there is often little that they, the agencies, can do. Scammers either block their ID or can provide a fake ID so that when you report them you get a letter from an agency saying sorry but there is nothing we can do about it. The agency is spending our tax money to tell us that they are useless at this point. In my last report, I specified that if you can’t locate the caller (scammer) DON’T WASTE TAXES ON TELLING ME BY POST THAT YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING. If you want to block calls that have their ID blocked, etc., you have to pay for such a service. Frustrating to say the least.


  5. Shelley Ashford says:

    Yes, we have them in NZ too. One even tried it on my Mum who has a computer but is not connected to the Internet, she payed the “Dumb Mum” and strung him out for a while. After 15 mins of playing dumb, he realised she was not connected to the Internet the call was swiftly terminated. Mum won’t connect to the internet because she is afraid of virus’, and calls just like this and not knowing what to do about it – shame really, she misses out on a lot of info she is interested in and I have have to print it out and send it to her.


    • It’s just so depressing to see people who’re being deprived because of these crooks and scam artists. Good to see an NZer reading my blog, by the way. Brother of mine lives just outside Wellington, and I’ve always wanted to come visit NZ. Sadly the flight equates to a lot of book sales!


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