Caught a smart scammer today.
I wouldn’t classify any scammer as smart but, this one had his big boy panties on. He had a plan and executed it well, I was impressed. I am never easily impressed!
The call I received was from (843) 873-2196….spoofed number, of course. The caller was a very nice fellow named Daniel Walters. He had a funny accent though. I think maybe he was french, or Texan, or an odd mix of two year old and Australian. I can’t be sure which but I struggled a bit to understand him.
Now Mr. Walters informed me my Social Security Number had been suspended and an arrest warrant had been issued for me! Panic set in. My life rapidly passed before my eyes…my world was ending…how could I be in so much trouble? Secretly, I was laughing maniacally inside!
I LOVE receiving scam calls. I admit it. I’m a scam call addict. I secretly get a thrill out of tormenting them. The longer I can make the call last the happier I am. If I can get them to cuss me out I have succeeded in a touch of retribution for all the annoyance they cause. It really is the simple things in life.
I quizzed Mr. Walters on his badge number – Federal Badge ID # 417J2741. (He was very forthcoming with details!) , a call back number to reach him if we get disconnected – 1-800-1172-1213 , his extension – 209, etc. Very quick with the answers. No hesitation. Almost spooky! Definitely believable.
Here is where being impressed comes in. The phone number he provided appears real. If you call the number it points you to a legitimate government URL – https://oig.ssa.gov/report. The phone number and the URL, ironically, are to report scams to the Office of the Inspector General. The catch is, on the call, you have to enter your Social Security Number. I was not willing to risk it. All I can say is…..
Very nicely done Mr. Scammer!
Now back to the call. At no time did Mr. Walter ask me to send money, or if I wanted to take care of it over the phone, etc. I was a bit disappointed. He did continually stress they were coming to take me away (ha ha, hee, hee…to the funny farm….And now that song is going to be stuck in my head the rest of the day!)
My fatal mistake. The mistake which cut the call short, and took away my fun….
I told him I was talking to my cousin, who was in law enforcement, while Mr. Walter and I were speaking. I informed him my cousin was completely confused. He hadn’t heard a word about an arrest warrant for me. To be honest, my cousin would be the first one to volunteer to come get me if I had a warrant. He’d do it to either laugh at me or read me the riot act for being stupid.
Mr. Walter did hang up rather abruptly after my comment. Very rude! It did give us time to analyze the call and what we could have done better.
Oh, did I say ‘we’? Ya, well, when any of us here in IT get one of ‘those’ calls. We put it on speaker and plot our comments. Whoever gets the most cuss outs wins for the week. Like I said, it really is the little things!
Next time though….I’m going to have to play the damsel in distress. The guys have decided my protective cop family ploy was a dud. I have to agree. Next time, tears!
May all your annoying scam calls end comically. AND, if you are one of the scam callers I hope you reach our IT team – we’ve been practicing just for you! 🙂