Friday, February 19, 2016

Telemarketers, scammers, and politicians

What do these three have in common? Hang, on. I’ll give you the answer. They make invasive and unwanted phone calls to my house and do it with apparent impunity. The Do Not Call list doesn’t work on the first two and on the third, they voted to exempt themselves from this list because they make the laws. The first two are potentially disastrous to my well being and bank account and the third is just a nuisance.

The phone rings and the caller ID shows it’s some place in Florida. 

Me: “Hello?”
Them: “Hi!  This is Keith Dougherty and I’m calling on behalf of the Policeman’s blah, blah blah.
Me:  “Hey Keith, how’s the wife?”
Them: The Policeman’s blah, blah, blah…”
Me:  So, how’s the wife Keith?  Better?”

These danged phone calls are every day, sometimes multiple times, but not always someone posing as the Baytown Chief of police. Last week my phone rang and it was me, calling me with the same number I used to answer. That was confusing at first, but humorous when I asked the guy if I could speak to me. Of course he hung up.

You experience this also because you have a landline. However, it is getting more common to have a call in this category come in on a cell phone also. Anyway, it’s only a matter of time and cell phones will be bombarded just like the landlines. I’m sorry to break this bad news. The electronic parasites find it easier to try to scam the unwary populace than go out and get an honest job. They are criminals plain and simple.

Often this is an organized effort with rows and rows of people dressed like they are on spring break, calling number after number and reading from a script. For every fifty people they call, they get a stipend, but if they are successful in getting into your bank account, they hit the jackpot. They win and you lose and lose and lose. When in doubt don’t answer or hang up.

I witnessed one of these establishments right here in Baytown 3 years ago. I was called to get virus’ off their many machines, which were operating independently of each other – as opposed to a network. When the telemarketers weren’t making calls, they were surfing the Internet and playing online games and this is how there happened to be a massive amount of infection.

I thought it was a legitimate business, until I looked at their website. They were supposedly providing Internet services, but were actually a front for about 50 avenues who did who knows what. The website showed rows of professional workers in suits and a beautiful building, but what I witnessed looked like they rounded up their help from a street corner each day. They were no more professional than the labor pool behind what most back street parking lot offers.

I walked away from it disgusted and I’m still repulsed over the idea of scamming people out of their hard earned money.  And like the singer said, “That’s why I wrote this song”.

I often get a friends request on Facebook and it’s a pretty girl (often exotic looking, for extra bait).  The first thing I notice is she has no friends.  Everyone has friends, right, so why does she want it to be me for her first friend?  When this happens DO NOT ACCEPT THE FRIEND REQUEST! If you do, they can grab your photos and friends list, plus your information and imitate YOU.

You can however chat with them through a personal message and I do because I like to have fun.

Them:  Hello!
Me:  High as a kite!
Them: How are you today?
Me:  Not so good.  I had both arms amputated and can’t type except with a straw using my teeth.
Them: That’s nice. Hey! Have you heard the government is giving everyone a hundred thousand dollars simply for filling out a form? I got mine today.
Me: Is that all you got? I got 2 million Kranvacecs and I’m trying to convert them into pesos.
At this time they close the dialogue and I smile, knowing I’ve wasted their time and had a good laugh. Then I paste it on Facebook for extra goodness.

I work and worked for every penny I’ve ever taken home and really resent anyone trying to gyp me, rip me, con me, are forcibly take it away. To give back, I repair peoples PC’s and laptops for little or nothing. I think I have repaired and given away 45 computers and to me this is the way things should be done, not ripping others off for my own gain.

One more item concerning online shenanigans is “Microsoft” offering to repair your computer by you giving them permission to get inside it via the Internet.  STOP!  Microsoft doesn’t give a hoot about your computer once it’s infected. When you get one of these online warnings of infection, stop what you are doing and seek real professional help, not some service on the Internet. Often a local tech can simply tell you to reboot and run your anti-virus software and you are good. If it comes back, then take it to a shop (or call me: PC Repair Done Dirt Cheap on Facebook).



Anonymous said...

DDC: Excellent column in The Baytown Sun this morning! Very informative, too. I appreciate what you do very much. I can testify to your wonderful computer repair skills. God bless you, brother!

Anonymous said...

HoustonControl: Crap! Does this mean the other Bert Marshall that friended me on Facebook isn't the deposed finance minister of Umbuquastan and I'm not going to get my US$4.5 million that I paid the $2500 "export fee" for?

Patrick Newman said...

And that is exactly why I don't answer the phone if caller ID says "Unavailable" or if I don't recognize the name/number. If it's that important, they'll leave a message.

It can only happen while shopping!

As the big man is my witness, every word of this is unquestionable and void of hyperbolic incredibility. With that taken into consid...