Tuesday 12 March 2024

I Fell For A Phone Scam

    I am usually very careful about random calls on the phone.  I check the phone number of the caller (it comes up on our television screen) and if I pick up the phone, I count to three and if I haven’t heard a voice by then, I hang up, but they caught me last week.

    I was up taking a nap over the noon hour, when the phone rang.  I couldn’t make out the number of the incoming call on the phone because I didn’t have my glasses on.  I was expecting a call from my doctor and assumed it was her, so I waited a bit longer than my three count.  It was a heavily accented voice on the other end, who said he was from Telus, our home phone provider.  (This didn’t scare me off, because big companies like Telus often contract phone employees from India.)  He knew my name and said that because I was a longtime user of Telus and had a good record of payments, (both true), Telus was offering a new package for me with a reduced price.  As well, I could get a better price for our cell phones with less restrictions.

    I bit; hook, line and sinker.

    They sent me the email showing the offer (above)

    I called “Lisa” to get more details.  She also had a foreign accent, but not East Indian like the male that initially made the offer, but she sounded more like she was from the Philippines.  “Lisa”  kept calling me “Mr. David” and provided me with more details on the new plan, and like a fool I said I would take the landline and cell packages that were on offer.  I foolishly gave her my credit card number to start the transaction.

    Luckily, this week I got an alert from my credit card company that a questionable charge was put on my credit card, and did I recognize the transaction?

    The charge was like $248.13 from some fabric company in Pakistan.  That was followed by a charge of $252.17 to the same company the following day.  I told the credit card company that those two charges were fraudulent.   By that time, there was yet another charge from the crooks. 

    The credit card company denied payment, and the only problematic results to me was the hour and a half on the phone and I had to cut up my credit card and wait a week or so for a new one.  Once I get it, I will have to change many automatic payments from the old card to the new one.  Fortunately, I didn’t loose any money to the scammers.

    Just today on the banner headlines on the bottom of the television news channel was the statement that something like $52 Billion is lost every year to phone scams, and that 1 in 5 people in the US have lost money to them.  

    Unlike all of these phone scams, when someone robs you with a gun, at least there is some possibility (although slim) that the crook might sometimes be caught and prosecuted.


View my paintings at:  davidmarchant2.ca



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