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14 January 2009 @ 12:01 pm
A Warning: A Fraudulent Business  
Every so often, I get random recorded calls from people wanting to sell me things. I don't give them money. Usually, I hang up on them. I'm on the "Do Not Call" registry, which makes it particularly annoying -- even if they're a specifically excluded group like a charity, newspaper or political lobbying organization, none of whom are required to honor the "Do Not Call" registry.

Today, I tried to get one to leave me alone. I got a recorded call from "Mike's Carpet Cleaning", and hit the "talk to a person" button. After some very hard-to-hear greetings, I said I wanted to be put on their "do not call" list. I was immediately hung up on. I hit the internet, hoping to give them some bad press. It turns out, there appears to be no such business. Other people have been called by them and gotten a variety of questionable-sounding information about a business that appears not to exist (there's a Mike's Carpet Cleaning in Walnut Creek, possibly defunct -- this caller is not that business). I immediately thought, "oh, like a Phishing scheme, but on the phone, you'd give them a credit card number for a deposit." My very perceptive wife pointed out that actually, a carpet-cleaning business would be an excellent front organization for burglars.

So if you're on the "Do Not Call" registry and still getting calls from businesses, don't just avoid paying them because they're being inconsiderate. Do it because there's an excellent chance that they're completely fraudulent, and you're likely to be (literally) robbed.

Somebody out there is either attempting to run a phishing/burglary business by being a telemarketer (a fine vision of Hell), or is hired as a telemarketer, at minimum wage, *by* a phisher/burglar, which would indicate that they'd make better money by turning their employer over to CrimeStoppers.

On a related note, I'm happy that the internet now allows looking up various caller-ID'd return phone numbers to see who has received spammy or fraudulent calls from them. I don't do it routinely, but it's exactly the kind of thing I think the internet should be good for.
JohnGgomijacogeo on January 14th, 2009 09:28 pm (UTC)
I get them too. I had fun with them a while back, I got through to an operator and listened to the spiel:

them: So may I please have your name?
me: Don't you already know it?
them: Excuse me?
me: Well, you called me about my warranty, you have to already know who I am.
them: Uhhhh, they don't give us that information...
me: So you don't know who I am?
them: No. I just do data entry.
me: Do you know what car you're calling about?
them: No sir, I don't, but if you'd, uh....
me: Is it about the Subaru?
them: (perking up) Yes sir, it probably is, now if you'll...
me: I don't own a Subaru
them: Umm, let me transfer you to my

Now it might be coincidence, but they haven't called back.
JohnGgomijacogeo on January 14th, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
Dang, gotta remember that angle brackets get swallowed. The last line ends with *click*.