We're all aware of the telemarketers, "phishers," and other scam artists that call our telephones incessantly. Lately, about half of the bogus calls I get are coming from the Idaho area code - and some are coming from our city prefix.
Because my phone rings all day with those calls I generally let the machine answer, unless I recognize the number.
Imagine my shock last week when I did recognize the number - and the name - and it was my own!
The second time it happened, I answered it. It was a recording claiming to be Microsoft, telling me I had to change my IP address or my account would be cancelled. I should press 1 to be connected to a technician. I hung up.
After about the 4th call, I decided to see what was behind button #1. The recording told me to hold to take a short survey. After a few sesconds of silence, I got that angry-sounding disconnect tone.
Will our acquaintances think my husband and I are behind this scam?
This is a really small town, and during the years that I was involved with real estate, animal rescue, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Fireworks Fund, I became well known. My husband was a custom home builder, so he was known to yet another group of people.
If they get these calls, will they think we've gone over the deep end?
I called the phone company to see if there was anything to be done, and there is not. They said I could change my phone number, but what would that accomplish?
As my son pointed out, whatever new number I got may already be being used by these crooks.
Technology may be a wonderful thing, but when it allows crooks to clone your phone number and use it for nefarious purposes, I think it's a dangerous thing as well.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net