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Old 06-10-2016, 05:34 PM
Trinopus is offline
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Phone Scammers (weak)


Four, count 'em four, phone calls inside two hours.

"Hi, I'm from the Federal Grants department..."

"Hi, I'm from the Security for your computer..."

And two with a robot/recorded voice, "Hi, um, I'm Amy, to help you find a job..."

This latter bugs me the most, because...well, it fooled me the first time. I thought I was talking to a real person. Also, once you go through the whole song and dance, they just try to sign you up for a student loan. Nothing to do with employment at all.

Bassards. Pure fucking bassards. May they be trapped at their phone banks forever, being hung up on, hung up on, hung up on, till the end of time.
  #2  
Old 06-10-2016, 06:06 PM
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I once got spam email that was actually from "fishing.com." I am not making that up. Spelled that way.

The thing that pissed me off the most was that right after my husband joined the military, we got a bunch of phone calls from places trying to sell us "Girls Gone Wild," and similar types of videos.

Now, I'm not saying my husband has never done anything that would get us on a porn list, but I know his tastes, and "Girls Gone Wild" is not it. Besides, he would never pay for porn when we had the internet.

And I don't think the USAR has an official policy of selling it's phone list of new recruits to pornographers. I'm saying some shmuck PFC at MEPS cribbed phone lists and sold them on his own.
  #3  
Old 06-10-2016, 08:40 PM
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...This latter bugs me the most, because...well, it fooled me the first time. I thought I was talking to a real person. Also, once you go through the whole song and dance, they just try to sign you up for a student loan. Nothing to do with employment at all...
I once signed up for what I thought was an online employment agency, gave my personal information, a resume, and answered a lengthy questionnaire. At every chance I indicated I was only seeking employment at the time, not looking to further my education. Literally less than half an hour later I got a call from them trying to hook me up online education from places I'd never heard off. The more I tried to emphasize I was interested in employment the harder sell he gave me. I didn't bite, and never heard back from them other than spam emails. Being unemployed & desperate sucks.
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Old 06-11-2016, 01:16 AM
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I don't even answer calls from numbers I don't recognize anymore. If it is important, they can leave a voicemail. But I hate the tapes even worse than the people, since I can't curse out the tapes.
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Old 06-11-2016, 07:45 AM
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"This is the IRS calling to notify you that your file has been referred to the legal department for action against you. Please call 318-403-.... immediately to resolve the issue."

Caller id says: Wireless number.

Yeah. I'll get right on that.
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:29 AM
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But I hate the tapes even worse than the people, since I can't curse out the tapes.
"The tapes"? What are "the tapes"?

Do you mean the interactively-responding robocalls? I'm pretty sure "tape" is nowhere in the formula.

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Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
"This is the IRS calling to notify you that your file has been referred to the legal department for action against you. Please call 318-403-.... immediately to resolve the issue."

Caller id says: Wireless number.

Yeah. I'll get right on that.
Would you hop to it faster if CID said "IRS WASHINGTON"? (Which would also be fake)

Last edited by Musicat; 06-11-2016 at 08:32 AM. Reason: Combining posts. Me, pad? What, you kid?
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:35 AM
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If a person calls with a thiiiiiiiick Indian accent calls and claims to be Steve Swanson from the Microsoft Windows, you should either hang up and not waste your time, or entertain him and waste his time.

Last edited by Mince; 06-11-2016 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:01 AM
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Would you hop to it faster if CID said "IRS WASHINGTON"? (Which would also be fake)
No, but I would give them credit for at least making the effort. Nobody takes pride in their work anymore.
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Old 06-11-2016, 11:43 AM
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According to a robocall I've received twice on my landline, I'm about to be arrested for tax fraud on behalf of the Canada Revenue Agency. However, when I call the provided number (Kingston Ontario area code) I don't get through and don't even hear ringing. How can I have fun with fraudsters if the only provided phone number is bogus? These criminals are just lame.
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Old 06-12-2016, 12:52 PM
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I once signed up for what I thought was an online employment agency, gave my personal information, a resume, and answered a lengthy questionnaire. At every chance I indicated I was only seeking employment at the time, not looking to further my education. Literally less than half an hour later I got a call from them trying to hook me up online education from places I'd never heard off. The more I tried to emphasize I was interested in employment the harder sell he gave me. I didn't bite, and never heard back from them other than spam emails. Being unemployed & desperate sucks.
Not exactly a scam, but in the employment section of free Toronto newspapers, there are almost no job ads. There might be ads for having medical research done on you, and there will be ads for people in debt and ads for schooling, but very few jobs.
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Old 06-13-2016, 06:59 AM
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If a person calls with a thiiiiiiiick Indian accent calls and claims to be Steve Swanson from the Microsoft Windows, you should either hang up and not waste your time, or entertain him and waste his time.
Anyone here that can tell me how to say "Go fuck yourself" in Hindi?
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Old 06-14-2016, 09:56 AM
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I don't even answer calls from numbers I don't recognize anymore. If it is important, they can leave a voicemail. But I hate the tapes even worse than the people, since I can't curse out the tapes.
Nomorobo is your friend, assuming they work with your provider. They work just fine with Verizon Fios home phone, not with Verizon Wireless.

I don't even look at the home phone until it's rung at least twice. My cell, on the other hand: if it is a number I don't recognize, I ignore it until it stops ringing. Then I added it to my "Telemarketers" contact (which has hundreds of entries by now) and it never rings from them again.

I one called the IRS scammers back just for giggles. An Indian accent answered with "Department of Treasury, how may I help you?". They had a pretty well-planned setup actually - most scammers, if you call back, you get a dead number.
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Old 06-15-2016, 01:48 AM
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If a person calls with a thiiiiiiiick Indian accent calls and claims to be Steve Swanson from the Microsoft Windows, you should either hang up and not waste your time, or entertain him and waste his time.
They never say Microsoft to me, they say Windows Company. Next time I pick up a call and it's them I'm going to ask for a quote on some windows, and not stop until they hang up. However, I've found that saying things about their mothers make them really mad.
Sometimes when he says his name is John, I say my name is Rajiv.
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Old 06-15-2016, 03:13 AM
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Around tax time, I kept getting calls from Internal Revenue Services. Yeah, nice try.
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Old 06-15-2016, 02:09 PM
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You know how when you get a telemarketer call, and you say "Hello?" and there is a pause as you get connected to a marketer, who then says "Hello?" like you're the one who called them, so you have to say "Hello?" again?

Has anyone gotten one of those guys who then goes "Ha ha, oh sorry I dropped my phone, I didn't know if you'd picked up."? I've gotten two of those.

Next time I am going to say something like "For gods sake, man! The only two skills you need to be a fracking telemarketer are talking and holding a phone, you can't even manage that?"
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Old 06-15-2016, 03:49 PM
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You know how when you get a telemarketer call, and you say "Hello?" and there is a pause as you get connected to a marketer, who then says "Hello?" like you're the one who called them, so you have to say "Hello?" again?
I read somewhere that the "Hello?" you get from them is a deliberate tactic: they do a bit of acting, portraying someone annoyed that you have bothered them---and as a result, you (supposedly) will become eager to please this person you've annoyed. Whereas if they were courteous and sounded eager to please you, you'd be less likely to try to please them.

I'm not quite sure where I read that, or how to search the topic, but ever since reading it I've noticed how often that tactic is used. Certainly there isn't any legitimate reason for a telemarketer to sound annoyed that someone has responded to their call (as getting responses enhances their pay and/or job status).
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:07 PM
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You know how when you get a telemarketer call, and you say "Hello?" and there is a pause as you get connected to a marketer, who then says "Hello?" like you're the one who called them, so you have to say "Hello?" again?

Has anyone gotten one of those guys who then goes "Ha ha, oh sorry I dropped my phone, I didn't know if you'd picked up."? I've gotten two of those.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherrerd View Post
I read somewhere that the "Hello?" you get from them is a deliberate tactic: they do a bit of acting, portraying someone annoyed that you have bothered them---and as a result, you (supposedly) will become eager to please this person you've annoyed. Whereas if they were courteous and sounded eager to please you, you'd be less likely to try to please them.

I'm not quite sure where I read that, or how to search the topic, but ever since reading it I've noticed how often that tactic is used. Certainly there isn't any legitimate reason for a telemarketer to sound annoyed that someone has responded to their call (as getting responses enhances their pay and/or job status).
Most likely you were not talking to a person, but a computer with stored, standard responses and a program that decides which one to play back next.

The first delay is so their computer can detect if you are a machine or voice mail. If it detects "hello?" or something sufficiently short, the call then goes to the next step in the program, which usually begins with some reasonably-sounding excuse as to why there was a delay. "Ha, ha, I dropped the phone" is one of these phrases, which is why you heard it twice.

This is followed by a Liza-style dialogue, typically asking you questions that can be answered yes or no, because the voice recognition software is good enough to parse that, but not good enough to understand what "yes, sure, certainly, y'bet" means. Only when the computer gets to the closing does the sucker get transferred to a human to take your money.

If you hang up before the conversation gets very far, you may not be aware that you have been talking to a robot instead of a person. To test this, try saying something that a person would be able to handle, but not a robot (this is a mini-Turing test), like "Is it raining where you are?" or "Once upon a time, there were three bears." A stock, recorded response is "I am having trouble understanding you. Could you repeat that?" or maybe "Sorry to have bothered you," and hangs up.

As far as Liza routines go, these are pretty primitive, but they allow the scamsters to make millions of calls without paying wages.
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:17 PM
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The thing that pissed me off the most was that right after my husband joined the military, we got a bunch of phone calls from places trying to sell us "Girls Gone Wild," and similar types of videos.

Now, I'm not saying my husband has never done anything that would get us on a porn list, but I know his tastes, and "Girls Gone Wild" is not it. Besides, he would never pay for porn when we had the internet.
Ha ha. I love this. It reminds me of the old "The food here is terrible!" "I know, and such small portions!" routine.

"It's not that I'm offended by porn. It's just such crappy porn! And how insulting that they think we don't know about all the good free porn out there!"
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Old 06-15-2016, 05:14 PM
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... If you hang up before the conversation gets very far, you may not be aware that you have been talking to a robot instead of a person. ....
Well, maybe. But I've been on many, many calls in which it was obvious that the responses to my input were recorded. If software exists that makes the robot non-obvious, why wouldn't all companies that transact business by phone use that software?
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Old 06-15-2016, 09:40 PM
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Sherrerd: That's a mighty good question. The software definitely exists, and it's good enough to have fooled me the first time.

I can't imagine that it's more expensive than a boiler-room of real people, even if they are sub-minimum-wage foreign labor. Software development isn't exactly cheap, but it's not all that pricey. Plus, models exist, so developers could just copy existing scripts.

I believe some jurisdictions have laws against robot calls, although I'm not clear on this. I thought California was one of those jurisdictions, but, damn, I get a lot of robot calls!
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:01 PM
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Well, maybe. But I've been on many, many calls in which it was obvious that the responses to my input were recorded. If software exists that makes the robot non-obvious, why wouldn't all companies that transact business by phone use that software?
What does a recording of your input have to do with anything?

Many companies DO use that software. My power company (Wisconsin Public Utilities) does; my cable/internet/phone company (Charter) does. I find it maddening, since their software understands almost nothing I say, so I am encouraged to repeat it. Again. No response. Again. Then I realize it may be smart enough to understand a single word, "agent" if said once, followed by a long pause. But "Agent...agent...agent...agent" drives it crazy and it doesn't understand anything. So I try to drive it crazy as soon as possible to make it give up and get me a human.

Non-monopolies -- companies that really want your business and don't want to alienate you -- don't use this kind of software, because people don't like it.

The utility and cable companies aren't trying to disguise the robot, because you have no choice but to work with them, but the scammers are trying to fool you, because they don't want you to hang up without getting your money. That's pretty much the only difference.
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:05 PM
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I believe some jurisdictions have laws against robot calls, although I'm not clear on this. I thought California was one of those jurisdictions, but, damn, I get a lot of robot calls!
Ever hear of California suing Pakistan? And winning? Me neither. That's why we get so many calls like this.
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Old 06-15-2016, 11:56 PM
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I've found that saying things about their mothers make them really mad.
I once made small talk with one while I pretended to open Event Viewer and all that jazz. I casually asked "So, how's the weather in Islamabad today?"

The irritated growl and "click!" I heard afterward indicated that I made him hit the ceiling. Totally worth ten minutes.
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Old 06-16-2016, 09:22 AM
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I have been collecting phrases the robots are trained to recognize. Usually it's "yes" or "no" or numbers, but some of the scammers throw a little something else in the mix. Apparently some callees suspect the caller is a robot, and may say something like, "Are you a computer?" or "I think you're a computer!", so if the robot hears the word "computer," you are likely to get a response like (and this is an actual transcript of several of my recordings) "Ha! No, I am not a computer; I just use one to help me."

That would be like this kind of dialogue:

Callee: Are you a fraud?
Caller: No.
Callee: OK, then. I guess you're not a fraud because if you were, you would say so, right?
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Old 06-16-2016, 09:54 AM
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None of the robo-callers that I get are that sophisticated. Either it's the usual "There is no problem with your account" shit and you can tell it's recorded because you can hear the recording start to play, or it just delays for a second while Ranjir Rip-off picks up and starts lying to me.

The only one I got that attempts to sound real is some voice actor ass-product who starts off in a gruesomely fake-cheery voice "Hi! How you doing?' and then a pause. Not hard to recognize, and I had a few minutes to waste on pointless pretense, so I responded "Fine - I just got out of prison for murdering telemarketers" and the recording responded "Great!" So I knew it was legit.

I played along for a bit, telling the recording that my name was Zamphir, Master of the Pan Flute, but it turned out that I got the same canned responses no matter what I said so I got bored quickly and hung up.

The live person who tells me that he works for Windows and that my computer is infected is more fun to fuck with. I started a thread about it on the Dope once - I had him on the phone for about half an hour and he only wised up when I started reading him the warnings on a Google search about "the Windows phone scam".

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 06-16-2016, 10:19 AM
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I have, for the most part, not directly answered my phone in 30 years.

Back in the day, I had an answering machine with the volume turned up. Everyone who knew me knew that I never answered the phone, just start leaving a message and if I'm there and able to, I'll pick up. Or I'll go through my caller ID (when that became available) every now and then and see that you had called (but be less likely to call back if you did not leave a message, as clearly the call wasn't important).

Now it's voicemail and caller ID on my cellphone. If you're in my contacts or if I know you're calling, like the auto shop last week when I had my brakes done, I'll answer. But the call from Florida during the same time period? Ignored it.

The Telephone is a Tool that exists for your convenience.
When it stops being convenient, stop using it.

Last edited by Chimera; 06-16-2016 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 06-16-2016, 02:53 PM
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Trinopus wrote:
Quote:
I can't imagine that it's more expensive than a boiler-room of real people, even if they are sub-minimum-wage foreign labor. Software development isn't exactly cheap, but it's not all that pricey. Plus, models exist, so developers could just copy existing scripts.
I believe some jurisdictions have laws against robot calls, although I'm not clear on this. I thought California was one of those jurisdictions, but, damn, I get a lot of robot calls!
True, the software might be extremely expensive.

Interesting point about some jurisdictions prohibiting robot calls (they'd definitely need the 'fools people'-level software to get away with it!)

Last edited by Sherrerd; 06-16-2016 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 06-16-2016, 03:09 PM
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What does a recording of your input have to do with anything?
I think you may have misread my sentence (quoted below); I was referring to the pre-recorded responses to what I said ('my input' meaning 'what I said'), not to my input being recorded:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherrerd:
Well, maybe. But I've been on many, many calls in which it was obvious that the responses to my input were recorded.
(I should have typed "pre-recorded" instead of "recorded".)


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Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
Many companies DO use that software. My power company (Wisconsin Public Utilities) does; my cable/internet/phone company (Charter) does. I find it maddening, since their software understands almost nothing I say, so I am encouraged to repeat it. Again. No response. Again. Then I realize it may be smart enough to understand a single word, "agent" if said once, followed by a long pause. But "Agent...agent...agent...agent" drives it crazy and it doesn't understand anything. So I try to drive it crazy as soon as possible to make it give up and get me a human.
Non-monopolies -- companies that really want your business and don't want to alienate you -- don't use this kind of software, because people don't like it.
The utility and cable companies aren't trying to disguise the robot, because you have no choice but to work with them, but the scammers are trying to fool you, because they don't want you to hang up without getting your money. That's pretty much the only difference.
Right, but the discussion was that the difference you mention is probably an expensive one, or all companies that use automated systems would use the 'hard to tell from a human' software instead of the 'obviously using an automated system' software. Even utility and cable companies would use the upgraded type if it weren't expensive. (Their costs are not decreased when customers are disgusted by the clumsiness of the automated system, after all.)




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I have, for the most part, not directly answered my phone in 30 years.
Back in the day, I had an answering machine with the volume turned up. Everyone who knew me knew that I never answered the phone, just start leaving a message and if I'm there and able to, I'll pick up. Or I'll go through my caller ID (when that became available) every now and then and see that you had called (but be less likely to call back if you did not leave a message, as clearly the call wasn't important).
Now it's voicemail and caller ID on my cellphone. ...
That's me, too. I don't answer the phone unless I recognize the caller-ID as someone I want to talk to.

But I'm posting in this thread because the scammers DO sometimes leave a message--most recently it was "you are about to be arrested, this is the Internal Revenue Services" or such.

What really annoyed me was that when I entered the number they said to call (which I did not call, of course) into Google search, I got a bunch of 'phone number ID' sites that said flat out it was a scammer's number, and the scam was to pretend to be the IRS....which indicates this number has been in operation for long enough for a bunch of ID sites to have labeled it.

What on earth are the phone companies doing, selling phone service to someone who is THAT established as a scammer?!?!!?

(That's a rhetorical question--I know what the phone companies are doing. They're making a profit.)

Last edited by Sherrerd; 06-16-2016 at 03:10 PM.
  #29  
Old 06-16-2016, 03:36 PM
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I once made small talk with one while I pretended to open Event Viewer and all that jazz. I casually asked "So, how's the weather in Islamabad today?"

The irritated growl and "click!" I heard afterward indicated that I made him hit the ceiling. Totally worth ten minutes.
If you want them to hang up real fast, just ask them what OS version you are running.
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Old 06-16-2016, 04:16 PM
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. . . if the robot hears the word "computer," you are likely to get a response like (and this is an actual transcript of several of my recordings) "Ha! No, I am not a computer; I just use one to help me." . . .
I had that experience! I interrupted -- it took a while for the recording to stop, and then the voice said, "How can I help you?" I asked "Are you a robot?" There was a pause, and then, almost exactly what you heard, the voice said, "Ha! No, I am not a robot."

Recently, I got a call and asked, "Are you a real person." She was, and said, "Yes, I am a live agent, but I am electronically limited to a script." I said "Thank you," and hung up.

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If you want them to hang up real fast, just ask them what OS version you are running.
I did that once, and the guy just bluffed on. "Your computer has signalled us with a security problem."
  #31  
Old 06-16-2016, 04:39 PM
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I had that experience! I interrupted -- it took a while for the recording to stop, and then the voice said, "How can I help you?" I asked "Are you a robot?" There was a pause, and then, almost exactly what you heard, the voice said, "Ha! No, I am not a robot."

Recently, I got a call and asked, "Are you a real person." She was, and said, "Yes, I am a live agent, but I am electronically limited to a script." I said "Thank you," and hung up.
[Dick Shawn voice as Hip Hitler]"They try, oh, how they try!"[/DSAHH]
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Old 06-16-2016, 06:01 PM
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Recently, I got a call and asked, "Are you a real person." She was, and said, "Yes, I am a live agent, but I am electronically limited to a script."
Technically, that would have been true, assuming that the system uses a live actress to record all the phrases that will be entered into the system (to be spit out in response to whatever the caller may say). She was a live agent at the time she was recording that limited script full of phrases!
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Old 06-16-2016, 09:43 PM
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Now you've got me doubting again. I think this was an actual live person -- but they're getting better and better at programming 'bots, so... Damfino!
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Old 06-18-2016, 12:15 PM
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Here's a robocall I recorded yesterday. Note that some words in the recording may offend some extremely sensitive people. The phone number on CID was "920 312-7008 (which might be fake), and the CID display said "CCI".

This is a good example of a dynamic robo program. 100% of this (the caller) is computer generated. Note how the program handled various situations, and it has several "generic" responses if it doesn't understand exactly what was said, but thinks there is still a sucker on the line.

Also note the rather long pauses between responses. The robo program was parsing the audio and trying to figure out the best response. With today's technology, that takes a little time, as computers aren't as fast as human brains just yet.

Here's a transcript of the conversation:
Quote:
Hi, is the lady of the house there?

The lady of the house is speaking to you.
Oh, Iím sorry, what was that?

The lady of the house is speaking to you. Who the fuck are you?
You know, getting ahold of you is harder than getting my kids to clean their room!4 Ha, ha, ha! This is Maria5 calling on behalf of the United Breast Cancer Foundation.1 Theyíre the ones helping women suffering from breast cancer6, you know, by providing financial support in everyday necessities to give them a fighting chance because one out of every eight women will be diagnosed, and Iím sure you guessed, itís that time of year,8 so we just wanted to make sure that if we mailed you an envelope, that the women could count on you for something small, thatís all, OK?

OK!
Oh, you are so sweet, I think I just might get a cavity! Ha, ha, ha! Now, our basic pledge mails out for thirty dollars and our top pledge is fifty. Any way you can handle the big one, or should we just mail it out for the basic of thirty?

Just mail it out, and fuck you!
Oh, no problem! I could3Öhello?

Hello!
OK, well, just let me just ask you this, because these women are fighting for their lives, and your help means the world to them2. I can always mail it out for the smallest pledge of fifteen dollars, and that way, they wonít have to lose your support entirely. OK?

Once upon a time, there was a dragon.
OK, no problem, just please remember to tell three women you know and love to schedule a breast reading this year, and that the United Breast Cancer Foundation is here to help.7 Thanks so much for your time and have a great day. Buh-bye.
---------------------------------
1 According to this site, the caller is number 38 on the list of the "world's worst charities". Only 6% of the money received goes to the cause they represent; 94% goes to the scammers who make the misleading phone calls.

2 It also means a lot to the telemarketers. How are they going to pay for their yachts and multiple Mercedes'?

3 In my infinite wisdom as a computer program, I just detected an anomaly. Are you mocking me? If so, can I reach into your wallet anyway?

4 This is what's known as "robo risability." We robots are a fun bunch, y'bet!

5 My sisters are Carmen and Rachel. They sit in the next cubicle, and their racket is to convince credit card holders to pay for nonexistent services like interest rate reduction. We compete to see who can drain bank accounts the fastest.

6 Helping impoverished women with 6 cents of every dollar donated, a dubious amount of assistance. Helping the rich telemarketers with 94 cents, a much more generous contribution.

7 Sure, we could help. But we won't. Our motto is, "making it look good is better than actually helping!"

8 Yeah, it's that time of year, all right. Have pity on us. We need to pay for our luxury beachfront condos in Miami, and every million dollar helps!

Last edited by Musicat; 06-18-2016 at 12:18 PM.
  #35  
Old 06-18-2016, 12:32 PM
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Any way you can handle the big one, or should we just mail it out for the basic of thirty?
[My bold]

Yeah, just break out the KY and bend over.

Dontcha just love perverse irony?
  #36  
Old 06-18-2016, 01:05 PM
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Yeah, just break out the KY and bend over.
I'll remember that the next time they call. And they will, because they don't give up. I wonder what the response will be? Do they have a planned retort to the detection of "KY" and/or "bend over" or will we just get the default error script, like "Have a nice day, buh-bye"?
  #37  
Old 06-18-2016, 01:50 PM
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Thanks for that, Musicat. I tend to think that the effort of documenting this stuff does real good--perhaps saving someone who might have been leaning toward believing it was legitimate from taking dollars out of the hands of genuine charities (by giving their money to the scammers, instead).

It would be interesting to know what proportion of the world's adult, employed population is employed in scamming and fraud, in general. Certainly they (in all likelihood) find a way to feel good about what they are doing, whether it's making the original recording used in calls, servicing the phone system, buying the lists of numbers to call, or any other of the scam-supporting tasks so essential to acquiring cash through deception.

Once I happened on a message board run by and for those who made their living as domain squatters--a line of work not entirely unlike phone scamming. (Neither is illegal, apparently, but both are pretty unscrupulous.) It was striking to note the strong strain of "what we do is a SERVICE that ultimately HELPS people" in all the discussions. I suppose the same would be true of message boards run by and for patent trolls, professional astroturfers and product shills, and other unsavory types.
  #38  
Old 06-18-2016, 06:41 PM
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...This is a good example of a dynamic robo program...
That "woman's" voice falls squarely in the "aural uncanny valley". Cree-py!
  #39  
Old 06-19-2016, 02:00 PM
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You hit it right on the head, Musicat.

I had that exact same phone call last week. And it was Maria. I was surprised by the opening line (which was exactly the same).

I thought something was off, and I finally agreed to give twenty bucks. Then I was transferred to "Sarah," who wanted me to use a credit card, which I kept refusing to do. And "she" kept going back to her script. I could tell she was a bot.

Anyway--I said mail me the stuff, and that was a week ago. Nothing has arrived in the mail.

So, either they were really collecting for that company, or were scamming for credit card numbers.
  #40  
Old 06-19-2016, 02:54 PM
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I had that exact same phone call last week. And it was Maria. I was surprised by the opening line (which was exactly the same).

I thought something was off, and I finally agreed to give twenty bucks. Then I was transferred to "Sarah," who wanted me to use a credit card, which I kept refusing to do. And "she" kept going back to her script. I could tell she was a bot.
I suspect "Sarah" was a real person, but only slightly more flexible than "Maria." After all, if "Maria" was capable of accepting credit card numbers, why hand off to another bot?

With the state of computer art as it exists today, a real person is needed in the loop somewhere as closer, but it's a low-paying, probably overseas job, so don't expect much beyond reading a script.

Remember that the anticipated target is a generous, elderly, retired person, perhaps lonely, certainly clueless, with too much money, a good heart, and not enough skepticism. If the first voice sounds robotic-American, the second voice can be Indian without arousing much suspicion.

If you want to challenge the system, try asking for IRS form 990, the mandatory disclosure form for all charities in the USA. Legitimate charities will not hesitate to provide it immediately, by email, fax, or mail. Non-legitimate charities will absolutely refuse, give an excuse, or promise what they will never deliver. Anyone looking at a 990 can see, without being a CPA, how fraudulent the outfit is. And it's doubtful that many solicitors ever file the 990 anyway.

Never give ANYTHING to ANYONE without seeing the form 990 first!
  #41  
Old 06-20-2016, 08:41 PM
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"This is the IRS calling to notify you that your file has been referred to the legal department for action against you. Please call 318-403-.... immediately to resolve the issue."

Caller id says: Wireless number.

Yeah. I'll get right on that.
Yeh, I get one of those occasionally. Also calls from some resonantly reassuring guy telling me that my order for (some help for the elderly type product) is all ready to ship and please press 1 to confirm blah blah blah....

Sure, buddy. sure I'm going to press 1 and get sucked into whatever ripoff scam your recorded voice is pushing onto a vulnerable population.
  #42  
Old 06-20-2016, 09:19 PM
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If you want them to hang up real fast, just ask them what OS version you are running.
Not a robot, and happy to admit I have no answer to some questions. Buys me some credibility, but saying I'm from a respectable company, calling on the behalf of a respectable payer, with links to demonstrate the relationship, is usually enough.

Scammers are beneath my contempt. I do business-to-business, calling warm-ish leads, with a real solution to their real problems.
  #43  
Old 06-20-2016, 10:23 PM
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You know how when you get a telemarketer call, and you say "Hello?" and there is a pause as you get connected to a marketer, who then says "Hello?" like you're the one who called them, so you have to say "Hello?" again?
If they reply to my "Hello" with a "Hello," I then say, "What can I do for you?" Then they'll ask whom they're speaking to, which I refuse to answer. I always ask them whom they're trying to reach. They never have an answer.
  #44  
Old 06-21-2016, 02:15 PM
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If they reply to my "Hello" with a "Hello," I then say, "What can I do for you?" Then they'll ask whom they're speaking to, which I refuse to answer. I always ask them whom they're trying to reach. They never have an answer.
I've always wanted to try replying to their Hello with something like, "I'd like a large pepperoni pizza, with extra cheese".
  #45  
Old 06-21-2016, 03:11 PM
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"You've got the wrong number. I spell my name 'Danger.'" click.

(Sigh... I'm on someone's programmed list. They call me every damn morning at 9:00.)
  #46  
Old 08-12-2019, 11:42 AM
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For some reason, I get calls asking, "Is Shamika there?" on my cell. This is usually at least three times a week. When I tell them that there is nobody by that name at this number, they say, "Well, maybe you can help me."

I've had my number for nearly 10 years, and I sort of doubt that "Shamika" ever had this number.

If I tell them that I'm "Shamika," when I'm clearly male, the call doesn't really get anywhere. They never really get around to what they want.

Is this common? Am I the only one getting her calls?
  #47  
Old 08-12-2019, 12:20 PM
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Spam reported. ( aditya321 )
I dunno. With all the misspellings and bad grammar it could've come from Trump.
  #48  
Old 08-12-2019, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
"This is the IRS calling to notify you that your file has been referred to the legal department for action against you. Please call 318-403-.... immediately to resolve the issue."

Caller id says: Wireless number.

Yeah. I'll get right on that.
My caller ID says "Outside of Area" followed by a phone number that is in my area code and prefix. Yes, I do think that number is spoofed, and no, I won't be answering.

Just like my email displays (what I presume is) the actual sender's address, behind the one they want me to think they are. Really, anyone I don't know who is trying to sell me something goes to the Spam folder anyway. But that feature makes it easier to be sure.
  #49  
Old 08-12-2019, 07:55 PM
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For some reason, I get calls asking, "Is Shamika there?" on my cell. This is usually at least three times a week. When I tell them that there is nobody by that name at this number, they say, "Well, maybe you can help me."

I've had my number for nearly 10 years, and I sort of doubt that "Shamika" ever had this number.

If I tell them that I'm "Shamika," when I'm clearly male, the call doesn't really get anywhere. They never really get around to what they want.

Is this common? Am I the only one getting her calls?
I get that, but the calls are for Todd, not Shamika. It's the same "well, maybe you can help me" line after that though. In my case it is a scam claiming to collect money for a police charity organization. It is a male voice with a folksy accent, but it is also clearly just a bot, because the spoken parts are identical each call. I haven't gotten it in a few months, but if I get it again I'll just say, "this is Todd," and see what happens.
  #50  
Old 08-12-2019, 08:04 PM
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It is a male voice with a folksy accent, but it is also clearly just a bot, because the spoken parts are identical each call.
If you haven't done it you'd be amazed at how robotic you will sound reading the same script 8 hours a day for three months.
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