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Phone Scam? March 7, 2008

Posted by Mitchell in Politics, Science & Technology.

I got a strange call tonight.  It was from a guy with a thick Indian accent (dot, not feather) saying he was with Sprint telephone and he wanted to give me a free, promotional cell-phone with no strings attached, he just needed some information to “complete my application” and to send it to me.  I have caller id, and the number was a local one – but the name was blocked though.  I could tell by the background noise that he was in a busy call-center.  My bullshit meter went to one-quarter, but I went along.  He said the phone would be delivered via UPS and that they would call to schedule person to person delivery. 

Hmm.  UPS doesn’t normally do that. 

He went on to say that I’d need a picture id for UPS guy to confirm I’m really the person it’s supposed to be delivered to.  Really?  My BS meter was into 3/4 range now, but he already knew my name and address and other information.  Sprint used to be the local carrier here until another company bought them out and the stuff he knew seemed to be consistent with what would be in a typical customer database.  I let the call continue.  He asked what id I’d be using and whatnot, then he then asked if I had any outstanding debts with Sprint. I don’t and said so.  “Great!” he said.  “Would you please confirm your Social Security number with me so I can make sure that you have no outstanding debt with Sprint?” 

WTF?  BS meter pegs into the red-zone and breaks the needle off. 

I tell him I’m not giving my SS number over the phone.  He starts in with the “Oh, no no no! Your information is totally protected by blah, blah, blah, and encrypted in the system yada, yada, yada.”  I repeat that I’m not giving my SS number to him, and that I’m not interested in his cell phone anymore. “Oh, nononono!” 

Thnx, but noe thnx, k bai – click

Not even 30 seconds go by and I get another call.  Another local number, id blocked.  It’s the call center supervisor – also another Indian.  I don’t let him get past telling me this before I tell him I’m not interested in his phone anymore and hang up again.  He calls back almost immediately.  I don’t even let him speak before I tell him not to call anymore and hang up yet again.  They don’t call back.

I reviewed my caller id log and there are two numbers there.  Reverse phone lookup reports for these numbers are available online, but they want $15 for them.  One site shows a map of a location in downtown Las Vegas for one of the numbers.  No address though.

This is a nigh 100% certain personal ID theft ring going on, but I’m not sure where I go from here.  Police?  Sprint?  Call these numbers back and screw with them?



1. Steamboat McGoo - March 8, 2008

Yeah – sure sounds like an ID thief.

I bet there is a hotline somewhere for this kind of crap. Try some terms on the Net.

2. Enas Yorl - March 8, 2008

I called the police and was told to report this to the Forgery Dept. and given a number. It seems that Frauds and Forgers take the weekends off so the Forger Dept. does too. I left a message with the details and the phone numbers those dudes were calling from.

3. Steamboat McGoo - March 8, 2008

Best you can do, I guess.

Well, since the fraudsters take the weekend off you don’t have to worry about them calling back!

Having any trouble with WP, Enas? I have disappearing and re-appearing posts and comments. Lots of other folks do, too. I’m hoping I get the chance to moon someone.

I’m finding it mildly amusing. ‘Course, I find most things mildly amusing.

4. Steamboat McGoo - March 8, 2008

Yep. You’re having issues with WP, too.

5. mesablue - March 8, 2008

Try plugging the number into this site — http://www.whocalled.us/list/

I was getting calls from a company that was trying to collect from someone with a similar name and they wouldn’t leave me alone until I called their headquarters.

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