Today I was listening to voice mails left on our home phone number and heard a phone message from a man with a thick accent claiming to be “Officer Charlie” from the IRS telling me that he was issuing an arrest warrant on me for tax fraud. He left the phone number of 571-526-0007 for me to call back immediately if I want to avoid arrest.
I’m not sure how many days ago he called. I know this is another phone scam, not unlike the one I wrote about in an earlier post about a guy claiming to be from Microsoft, wanting access to my computers. (By the way
I have read lots of notices on news websites about this popular scam lately, a caller pretending to be from the IRS and demanding immediate payment of large sums of money or be arrested. I’m glad that I didn’t answer the telephone when he called – it might have gotten unpleasant with me telling him that I know he is a scammer, and then listen to him cussing me out!
In some ways I am amused that people think that we are innocent and gullible enough to fall for these scams. In other ways I am saddened by the knowledge that there probably ARE trusting souls out there that will, and do, fall for these evil tricks.
If this had happened today, I would have thought it was from a friend, trying to pull an April Fool’s Day joke on me. This is NOT an April Fool’s Day joke on you, really. This is just odd timing.
Yesterday, I was at home, working on the computer. I had just finished all I could do on my income taxes, done a bit of blogging, and had started to work on writing a post for the Ruritan Rapidan District website that I created and maintain in my spare time.
Then the cordless cell phone beside my desk rang. The Caller ID identified the number as 215-249-6100. Not recognizing the number, and thinking it might be a “real” telephone call, I decided to answer it.
I’m not sure now if I’m glad I answered it or not. Often I let the home phone just go to voice mail to screen the calls – there are so many telemarketers “out there” that did not seem to get the message that my phone is on the National Do Not Call Registry!
Be that as it may, I answered the phone. A male with a foreign accent asked to speak to me. Well, our family has dealt with a few doctors recently with a similar foreign accent, so I still thought it might be a legitimate phone call. I replied that I was the person he was asking to speak with.
Then the adventure began. The man identified himself as a Microsoft Windows Security employee. He informed me that he was calling to tell me that his company has identified my computer as having a virus!
As you can imagine, my immediate reaction was to think that this phone call was an attempt by someone who has malicious intent. (And I feel very bad for the many people “out there” that are not technologically savvy enough to see right through this type of ploy, and immediately fall prey to this predatory behavior!)
So, I repeated back to this man, “you are calling me to tell me that my computer has a virus on it?” His reply was, “Yes ma’am, a very serious virus, and I’m calling you to tell you how we can help you to remove the virus.” I thought to myself “I’ll bet you are!”
My reply to him was “You can tell, from where you are, that my computer has a virus on it?” His reply again, was, “Yes ma’am. a very serious virus. and I’m calling you to tell you how we can help you to remove the virus.”
Now I’ve decided to have a bit of fun at his expense. So I asked him “Well, I’ve got eight computers here, can you tell me which ONE of those computers has a virus on it? I really need to know which ONE!”
Well, as you can imagine, there was a brief pause at the other end, and then the man spoke “you have eight computers there?” to which I replied “yes sir, I have eight computers here, and if one of them is infected, I really need to know which one of those eight is infected, so I can take care of it right away!”
Then the man started to stammer and sputter “ummmmm…. eight computers…. ummmmmmm…. I don’t know….. ummmm….. eight computers…….”
My tolerance for stupidity depleted, I decided to put him out of his misery. I know it’s rude to interrupt, but I interrupted him (sorry) and said “Let me make this easy for you. I don’t believe that you are a legitimate business. I think you are a spammer, scammer, hacker, identity thief that is trying to rip me off. I have all kinds of firewalls, anti-malware, anti-spamware programs on my computers,and I don’t believe that you are who you say you are. Put this phone number on your ‘Do Not Call List’ and do not ever call me again!” And then I hung up the telephone.
Then I went to Google, and typed in the phone number 215-249-6100. The search results led me to a website called callercomplaints dot com, where people can register a telephone number and complain about it. There were already several complaints logged (with details) for that phone number. I added my complaint to the list – you can read it if you want to.
Please remember – when someone calls YOU and wants information from YOU, do NOT GIVE IT OUT! It is a SCAM! Hang up the phone!