Actually, this started over in GQ, but then I got to thinking about it and even if they’re legit this is now officially a rant. Here goes:
Well, here it is, post 501, and as luck would have it, I’m back on my Telephone Solicitation soapbox! Weee!
This one, however, ALMOST sounded legit. Almost… so I’m askin’ y’all: Did I just miss out on a good thing, or a bad thing?
First off, some background…
I hate, hate, HATE telemarketers. Oh, not you, individual telemarketer who is reading this… unless you’ve actually called me at some point. No, I hate the telemarketing industry, and I have declared ‘war’ on them. Geurilla war, of a sort, as I can really only target those who target me first… anyway.
So, as part of my campaign, I use certain ‘tags’ in all my financial dealings… fake names or addresses that serve to tell me that this person got my information from such-and-so.
In this particular instance, the caller asked for a “Mr. Bob Fmunky”. This is not my name, this isn’t even close to my name, this is one of those tags I mentioned. So, of course, that’s when my ears perked up.
Yesterday, midafternoon, call comes in. “Hello, Mr Fmunky? I am calling to inform you that you’ve been offered a grant in the amount of $6000, could you just confirm some information?”
I hung up. Are you kidding me? Call me up and wanna give me $6000… riiiight.
Then they called me again today, 'bout 10 minutes ago. This time I dug for a bit more information. “Well, ok, yeah I’m Bob. Look, if you’re real, you’ve got a website, right? Right. What is it?”
“Oh, you’re a beer company? Wonderful… send me $6000 worth of beer please.”
No, sorry, wrong address, Mr. Fmunky. Try www.grants.gov?
Ahh… and there it is. An actual official grants-related website.
So, back to the phone… “You wanna give me $6000? And I don’t ever have to pay it back? Great! I’ll come pick it up, where you at?”
Ahh, but no, it doesn’t work that way… there’s an account transfer fee I have to authorize first. In the amount of $257.
Oh, sure, hang on, lemme get that account number for you and I’ll… hey! Wait a minute!
I ask if, since they’re so keen on giving me the money anyway, they can’t just take it out of that?
No, Mr Fmunky, we don’t work that way…
Well, pal, I don’t work that way either. Click
But, well, the website had a .gov… not that the caller really knew that, of course… so maybe, MAYBE, it was legit?
What do you think?
And, more importantly… who did I give the name “Bob Fmunky” to? SOMEONE out there wants my money, bad!