Can you explain this phone scam?

With reference to I Still Don’t Know How I Got Caught Up…, can anyone suggest the reason behind it?

To sum up briefly, a homeowner in Greeley, Colorado was getting phone calls from people wanting to hire her as an exterminator. She is not an exterminator, but she found that if she googled exterminators in Greeley, a company and number came up (not hers), and if that number was called, hers rang.

She tracked down the supposed company’s address, which was nonexistent. I fact, there is no real exterminator firm in Greeley.

It appears that someone had forwarded the published number to hers. Why? What would they gain? Or was this some kind of mistake? Retribution? Stalking?

Perhaps a lead generator scam, in which the published number is supposed to forward to a subcontractor in the area? Here’s an article about a similar scam for locksmiths.

Are you saying the forwarding got screwed up? And this article writer was an innocent victim? Still, remember that the advertised company didn’t exist, at least not at the published address.

Might be a form of harassment, not a scam.

It could also just be incompetence. A scammer tried to set up a fake extermination business, with a VOIP number forwarding to his phone in a futile attempt to make it harder for authorities to find him, but he typed in the wrong number and it ended up forwarding to a stranger.

This. Likely a case of Occam’s Razor 'the simplest answer is most often correct.

This is becoming so increasingly common. Look up online for a local X. Start checking and soon realize that the exact same text is used all over the country, each with a different local number.

Many years ago, I had vaguely-similar thing happen to me.
I started to get a lot of messages from people with Indian accents, asking for IT support. I finally called one of these people back, and asked who they were trying to reach, and he said the IT department for a motel chain. I asked where he got the number from, and he said it was listed in a directory. So, I called the headquarters of the chain, and finally got to someone who confirmed that somebody had made a typo, and listed my number by accident. I probably could have made a lot of money doing the IT work, but it wasn’t my specialty…
It took around 3 months for the calls to finally cease.