I recently posted about an “account services” scam, which turned out to be more widespread than I realized. There are people all over the country getting these, and some people have fallen for it. Yet the authorities can’t seem to track the criminals down.
The service Verizon offered me – blocking any callers that have chosen to block their phone number from displaying on Caller ID (see above link) – has not stopped this. I got another call a few days after setting it up. When I called to ask why it hadn’t worked, Verizon admitted this service doesn’t work 100%. I got the service for free – I don’t recommend paying for it. And it’s wrong that they don’t tell you up front it doesn’t work on every cell phone company, phone company, etc.
I have a suggestion which I haven’t had a chance to try yet. Next time the criminal calls, I’m going to pick option #1 to speak to him, then tell him I’m legally obligated to inform him I’m recording the call, and yes I’d really like to take advantage of his offer, and which of my credit cards is he calling about? I expect he’ll hang up before I can get half those words out. And maybe just maybe he’ll leave me off his list.
This is an old trick from the 80′s, when people were getting obscene or threatening phone calls and the police couldn’t do anything because no crime had actually been committed. They said that since anyone who records calls is legally obligated to inform the other party before they start talking, that’s a good way to scare them off – whether you’re recording or not.
But with answering machines, recording calls is easy for a lot of us, so feel free to actually record the calls. It’s perfectly legal as long as you inform the other party. Who knows? It might help law enforcement at some point as more people report this scam. At the very least, maybe it will get you off their call list.