A woman called the other morning. Of course, I was busy, had to drop everything and grab the phone. By her thick foreign accent, poor English grammar and urgent sales pitch, I knew instantly this was a boiler-room (call center) scam.
These unwelcome interruptions are not only from American crooks, both male and female, but also from operators in Mexico, Sri Lanka, Africa, India, Russia and elsewhere. They work from scripts that sometimes seem to have been written by someone who flunked English 101.
Angry, I didn’t listen closely, and not caring if she wanted to sell me insurance, time share or vacation plan. Or worse, it could have been a scam to get vulnerable old me to reveal my Social Security, credit card and/or bank account numbers.
By making continuous daily calls, the boiler-room crooks eventually get lucky. Sadly, it only requires a couple of sucker hits a day, too often on vulnerable, confused seniors. Many of the calls also offer phony cruises and other come-ons. When the crooks get the critical info, they then quickly empty bank accounts and/or sell the credit card numbers for other thieves to run up huge bills.
How to stop the unwanted calls? Sometimes yelling and cursing at the top of your voice helps. However, if the caller has nothing better to do, that may only make the phone ring again and again, just for the evil pleasure of hearing you scream.
Other recent, inconvenient calls were from a computer repair company. At first, I offered polite refusals, then as the unwelcome rings persisted, my words got louder and and more colorful. It finally stopped when I threatened to file a harassment complaint with the police.
Summary: Do you practice the Biblical saying: A soft answer turneth away wrath? For unwelcome and annoying telemarketing calls, consider changing it to: A loud curser turneth away rats!