BEWARE OF PHONE SCAM
The trick is the language. It is not legally actually stating that the caller represents an organization with which you are already doing business, but the trick is that you make that conclusion in your mind. Like, "Throw the cow over the fence some hay." The caller (imaginary) is talking about feeding cows, and you hear him saying to throw the cow over the fence.
What makes it even worse is the use of Hindus based in New Delhi, India to make the calls. Now, we in the USA have some experience with foreigners for many reasons. We know that they make mistakes over syntax, and we cut them some slack and try to make sense of their efforts to communicate. So, when the strong Indian accent is present, we are even more suckered into making the discussion go in the direction the caller has hinted at.
I get these all the time, but I really got mad yesterday when Dingaling Patel called me from India and suggested my domain was about to expire and I needed to renew. The red flag went up at once. I know these people can get this information with the WHOIS option, so that made me skeptical. I asked, "What is the name of your organization?" Patel answered, "Domain Registry Support." There was a key word-- Registry. I am with Register.com, and these creeps ALWAYS use a form of the word "register" for good reason in their corporate name. Register.com has the vast majority of domain registrations in the USA, and they are the target to rip off.
Go to Domain Registry Support. What a dull kindergarten page-- just enough to have a legal presence online. There is none of the usual blather about domain registration. Why the plain Jane home page? Simple-- they are not nearly as serious at web business as they are at tricking you on the phone.
If you agree to their suggestions, you will find yourself moved from your former domain host, and all your investment in ongoing registration will be lost. You will also get worse service because creeps are crooks in all areas of their lives.
Bible-- James 1:8 (KJV) A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Here is the policy, which we have mentioned before-- NEVER change anything without hanging up and going to the web page of the service. If it is your ongoing service, the caller will be delighted to see you do this. If it is Kreepo Patel in Bombay calling, and if you deal on the phone, you WILL get ripped off. This applies to credit card deals, banking calls, roofing and siding deals, the "help the poor cop" fund, and domain registration of course.
Here is why I got mad. I asked Patel if I was registered with his company, and he said "yes" big and loud. I then asked what his company name was to make sure, and he said, "Domain Registry Support." I then told him that what he was doing was fraud in the USA, and I asked for his supervisor. He told me all the supervisors were busy. Of course they were. Patel was working hard ripping Anglo fools with his noonday curry pot sitting next to him, and all the supervisors were sound asleep in Albuquerque. Duh.
I went off on Patel in an Indian accent, which I mastered growing up in Kenya, and he chuckled and hung up on me. Met his match that time. Friend, NEVER RESPOND TO TELEPHONE MARKETING FOR ANY REASON. Only crooks do this. If a legitimate company with which you do business calls, they will NOT ask you to do business over the phone if you say you would like to enter their company web site and do the deal.
If they tell you the only way you can finish the deal is over the phone, or if they say there is a deadline in ten minutes, they are devils from hell. You are a perfect fool if you proceed. Read that again please.
Take heed-- there will be new scams and new tricks in the coming years. I have concluded that I will simply NEVER finish anything over the phone. Never give anyone from anywhere information about you over the phone, even though they say they are from a person of company with which you do business. Go to their web site, and go in the way you always do, and with the usual password.
The latest pest trick is the recorded message. You cannot talk back, and the thing is 100% impersonal. Understand the following:
It is a sorry world folks. We have to respond to machines as we drive, as we eat, as we process business deals, and so forth.
When I was a kid we were in New York City for about six weeks waiting for our ship to Africa. One of my delights as a kid in NYC was the automat. In these food establishments you did not deal with people except to make change. You went down a long wall which had lots of little doors like the Post Office. You peeked through a glass window in the door, and when you saw what you wanted, like desiccated pumpkin pie or a bowl of bilious soup, you dropped a dime in the slot by the window, and the door opened, and you pulled out your treasure of the most dull institutional food NYC had to offer.
I loved the surprise of getting my food, but most people loved the automat because it was a fast way to get food, eat, and keep running to catch the subway. You had to sit where you could, and you always had to share a table. Many people stood up to eat at counters along the wall. There was no privacy, and you met the nicest and the most disgusting people. This too made for a lively discussion when you got home. For four dimes you could write a whole chapter in your book on the Big Apple.
So, it has come from the nostalgic automat to a machine on the other end of the phone trying to convince me that my home needs painting. I hate it. Give us back the automat, or SHUT UP, you jerk.
Subject: ATT SCam ..
Please pass on to all of your employees, friends and family... I received a telephone call from an individual identifying himself as an AT&T Service Technician that was running a test on our telephone lines. He stated that to complete the test I should touch nine (9), zero (0), pound sign (#) and hang up. Luckily, I was suspicious and refused. Upon contacting the telephone company we were informed that by pushing 90# you end up giving the individual that called you access to your telephone line and allows them to place a long distance telephone call, with the charge appearing on your telephone bill. We were further informed that this scam has been originating from many of the local jails/prisons.
Please "pass the word".
Ron Spencer sent the above, and he later added the following:
Editor: I called AT&T and found that this warning is legitimate, and I was told that if anyone calls by phone or internet claiming to be an AT&T representative and asks you to help them that it is a scam because AT&T (or any other phone company) doesn't need the customer's help to do their testing. They are equipped with high tech equipment to handle their problems. I was asked to add their e-mail address to this message in case you get one of these calls, you can report it to them. They are investigating this matter.
E-mail and report any scams to AT&T-- firstname.lastname@example.org
IS AN UPDATE ON THIS--