I answer the phones at the office. It's part of my job description.
Now, never mind that my phone is pushing 20 years old. This post is about something else. When I answer the phone, I say the name of the business and then, "This is Deb." I've been doing that for 14 years now (as of 1-10).
In the past four years, we've been receiving, about two to three times a year, a phone call from some organization identifying themselves as the "Illinois Development Office". They have very heavy Asian accents and it's clear they are reading from a prepared script. The pitch, for the last four years, has been exactly the same.
"Yes, hello. This is [pause] Kevin from the [pause] Illinois Development Office. We want to know if your business have found a new space or if you are still looking."
The first couple of years, I was polite, but stern. "We are not looking." They would hang up immediately. Last year, I sighed and said, "Why are you calling us?" They hung up. Today, I got another call and I was not nice. I yelled at the woman, [pause] Janet (yeah right), "Take our name off your list, now!" Yelled. If you have ever heard me yell, you know I have a very loud voice when I yell and it gets louder when I am angry. This is nothing but a scam and I'm tired of dealing with this.
The woman told me to listen to her as she wasn't selling anything. That made me even angrier. I yelled, "By law, if I order you to take this number off your lists you are required to do so. Stop calling us!" When she continued to say, "I am not selling anything. Just listen to me," I slammed the receiver down. What happened next is surreal.
My boss was on the phone with the VP of the company. For the next 5 minutes, this company proceeded to call us and, when I answered the phone, hang up. When I didn't identify myself, you could hear the boiler room sounds of people making more robo calls in the background. I found out from a friend that the computer programs they use to make these robo calls can be programmed to call repeatedly for a specified amount of time. They were trying to harass us. The VP heard the phone ringing in the background and wanted to know what the heck was going on. My boss traced the call to an unknown Internet source, while I got as far as "Paid Toll Free Caller". He tried to call the number back and it would not go through. They left us alone after 5 minutes.
There are pages and pages and pages of complaints about this number. Most people say these are Filipino scammers. The little bit of reading that we did does not indicate how to stop them from calling. My boss said that if they call again, we will contact our phone company and ask for all numbers from that area code to be blocked.
It reminds me of the copier scam. "Hi, this is Letitia from Copy Centers of America. I need you to verify the number on the front of your copier for me." When I ask why, they hang up on me. They want to sell you a maintenance plan. I have no time for them either and, in spite of my upbringing, I have no qualms about being rude to those callers either. I know it's a job, but you're calling me with a scam. They better be paying you five times what I make because you're not getting anywhere with me when I didn't call you about a problem.
I'm passing this along. I don't know what, if anything, can be done, but this seems to be a pattern with this string of numbers. Several sites said the number last year was 882-013-0105 and the year before that it was 882-012-0105. I don't know what the scam is because I never let them get farther than their very bad question.
Beverage: Darjeeling tea