:::Spoiler Alert::: It was a scam. Please read the whole thing though. There’s swearing. Lots of it but read the whole thing.
So just received a call from 864-923-XXXX and I get a call from a number with the same area, same prefix, last four digits will vary give or take. There’s about four of them actually. Normally I don’t answer because I have an app (Mr. Number) that tells me it’s a scam, sometimes I do but it just hangs up. After repeated calls for weeks, I figured what the hell, I’m gonna have some fun. I’m having a pretty crummy day so let’s see if I can spread my misery.
Call goes as follows
Fraudster: Hello this is Blah Blah Blah from Medical Alert System, you’ve been pre-approved for a home health blah blah blah thing are you over 65 years of age?
Me: Why yes, yes I am.
Fraudster: Oh, great, do you have a disability? Or do you use a cane or a walker?
Me: Why yes! Yes, I do. I use a cane.
Fraudster: Oh, wow I see. Well let me transfer you to one of our representatives.
Fraudster #2: Hello this is Darnell with Healthcare Home Alert (or whatever it was) My ID number is 01104 (this is legit, I wrote it down) I understand you’ve been pre-approved for a “Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up gizmo.” Would you like to hear more information about it?
Me: Yes, I am very interested.
Fraudster #2: Wonderful and your name sir?
Me: Charles Barkley
Fraudster #2: (Pause) Oh, riiiiigh, Ok Mr. Barkley….
Me: Oh, Haha! No, no, I get that all the time. I wish I was the real Charles Barkley though! He definitely wouldn’t need this service!
Fraudster #2: Oh haha! Right, ok then, let’s go ahead and proceed.
Me: Sounds great, please tell me more.
–Dude goes on and sounds VERY professional. A 400 dollar value for the thingamabob that will contact the authorities if anything happens to me, just push this button blah blah blah and I am eating it up.–
Me: So, what do you need from me? I know this can’t be free.
Fraudster #2: Well, the service is just 29.95 a month so that isn’t covered by medicare but it is certainly well worth it, what kind of questions do you have for me?
Me: Why do you think it’s ok to defraud old people out of their hard earned money?
Fraudster #2: (Pause) You don’t even know who I am, how do you know this is fraud, I’m with the Medical Alert System?
Me: Because a number with this area code and this prefix calls me multiple times a day for weeks on end. Sometimes I answer and I get hung up on but today somebody answered and I get to talk to you. I looked up the numbers quite a few times and they all say it’s fraudulent. Sometimes it’s for this, sometimes it’s for medical insurance, other times it’s for free home health visit and it’s just odd that it’s always an 864-923 number and when I google it, it always says it’s fraud. So, why do you think it’s ok to defraud old people out of their money?
Fraudster #2 YOU KNOW WHAT! YOU’RE A FUCKING IDIOT! YOU FUCKING RETARD! YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO THIS IS SO FUCK YOU IF YOU DON’T WANT IT HANG UP THE FUCKING PHONE RETARD!
It’s important to know that neither of the fraudsters had a strong accent which tends to be common with these scams. There was no way to indicate AT ALL that it was a scam. He didn’t ask for Amazon/eBay/Wal-mart/Target/iTunes gift cards or anything. At first I thought, maybe the original fraudster was on to me and transferred me to a legit health service agency which is entirely possible but the language used towards the end there sort of killed that idea. Bottom line, if you don’t know who is calling you, don’t go for it. It’s always, always, always a scam.
My advice? Have fun with these a-holes. What’s the worst that could happen? Your number is already compromised, they call and annoy you on the daily so why not waste their time too? If it’s legit, well, I am terribly sorry. Maybe it will press a legit company to re-evaluate their systems to make sure fraudsters can’t automatically connect them to their service (if that’s even the case). Or, it will certainly get you off their list. Protect yourself and your family. These people were good.
UPDATE: Prior to posting this, I wanted to call the number back ONE last time and see what was up. A very nice sounding woman with a southern accent answered and I asked if she had called me a little while ago. She said it must have been an accident if she did and that she was very sorry. She definitely was NOT the person who I spoke with the first time. Fraudster #3 or are they spoofing innocent peoples phone numbers?
First call was at 3:44 PM, I called the number back prior to posting this at 3:50 PM with no response. I called back one last time at 4:27 PM and spoke with Little Miss Gone With The Wind.