So, the landline rings and the caller ID reads, “Unavailable “ so I just know it’s a salesman. But I pick it up anyway and there’s a two second silence after I say hello, which is another tip off it’s a salesman, calling multiple numbers. The third kicker, the man’s thick Indian accent.
I decide to listen to his pitch for fun anyway, and he claims he’s from the US Grants office and wants to send me $7,000 because I pay my taxes on time.
So, I assume my brain works similar to yours. Here’s the thought process:
- This is a scam, I’ll listen to him. It could be funny. I’ll pretend to be interested for a minute.
- Wait. Did he say the ‘US Grants office,’ whatever that is? He says it’s the government. Wow, this scammer is pretty audacious to be claiming to be the US government.
- US? Maybe this is legit? I mean, the US wouldn’t hesitate to take you to court if you used their name for a scam, right? Maybe it’s just odd enough …
- No, that’s ridiculous. Ha ha.
- I mean, there’s about a one in twelve zillions chance this is legit.
- Still, there is that one in twelve zillion …
- Ha, ha. I’m ridiculous.
- But the US government is pretty screwed up so maybe …?
Then the guy asks if I want it on my credit card, bank account or if he should mail a check to my house.
I tell him I’ll take the check, as reality settles in. I mean, there is no way I’m giving anyone bank or credit card information on the phone.
The guy tells me he just needs to confirm my name and address.
So I wait. Silence. I tell him I’m happy to confirm my information. Go ahead.
No, he says. I need to give him the information.
But then – I point out — I’m not confirming anything, I’m telling you something. You must have my name and stuff, right? I’m happy to confirm it for my $7,000.
No, says the man. All he has is my phone number.
So I hang up. And then I Google the scam and confirm this is a pretty common ploy. It was pretty horrible of me to entertain any other thoughts, even for a split second.
Wait, my phone is ringing. “Unavailable.” Hmmm. There’s that one in twelve zillion chance …