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The ‘sucker list’ : Stop fraud without changing phone numbers

July 9, 2015

Ok, recent events in the last few weeks made me feel better about not buying that expensive call blocking system seen on Amazon.com, which touted their 20th anniversary was to have been better than Black Friday. Since reporting the strange numbers on caller ID in the last few months and changing my voicemail messages on my cell and land lines, those annoying calls had ceased. “Rachel” from Card Services even stopped calling, for now anyway.

Yes, people were tired of high interest rates on their credit cards, like the other scams out there, this one wasn’t going away any time soon. The biggest concern in the article was that people were victims of one of the oldest scams on the phone and a lot of people were losing big chunks of cash from it. This call was ignored by me because it was prerecorded. If It was answered by me, my hang up was instant.

They started out like the typical scammers that were phoney representative from the above or card member services that promise that using this service gave a rate that helped the card holder pay off their outstanding balance a lot sooner than projected. Like the other scams previously mentioned, people were as desperate to lower or quickly pay off the balance on their cards.

Other than man’s inhumanity to man, here was what the Bible said about fraud,

Proverbs 20:17

Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel. (ESV)

Here was a list of rules to follow from the FTC about Tech Support Scamsand Phishing. The sad fact was that with the web, a person’s information was acquired on public directories and even the phone book. If they created a sense of urgency or even threaten the caller that their computer might have been shut down if the caller didn’t purchase their warranty, it was a scam. Here was a list of things to look for.

  1. The legitimate tech support companies didn’t call looking for work. Most of the time, with the exception of the last company, they would’ve given a name everyone recognized like Microsoft. Unfortunately, both companies that had spoofers call me had global reach, like The Geek Squad
  2. Notice the time of day the call was came in. The last call that came on my cell phone, after three in the morning, was from an air conditioner repair company from Miami, Florida
  3. Remember what contact number was used by the caller. One thing that alarmed me was that my wireless number was not given to the last number that called me five times in two days.
  4. If the number was not in service, one couldn’t call them back, or couldn’t have been blocked, it was a person calling out of the country. Three of the numbers reported were like that. One resorted to wireless numbers from a rival company.
  5. According to a church friend, the in-house numbers, those from other parts of the nation and even locally, were rented. All that happened was their links were shut down if they were discovered.

Here were the steps taken by me in order to stop them without changing my numbers:

  1. If one had access to the web via tablet, laptop, or smart phone look it up, by typing the exact number in the search area, then type complaints.
  2. Most of the time, the number’s origin was listed as well as the latest complaint sent in.
  3. Add as much information to the description area. This included what showed up on caller ID, the person’s name or company, and what bothered the one receiving the call if it was answered.
  4. Report the call to the BBB scam page.

Luckily, the app on my android phone was my ‘sucker list‘ similar to the one created by the syndicated television show, “The Middle

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