Notes From My Litter Box: Phone Scam Alert

Cat’s Corner

~ By Catherine Mahrholz ~

Phone Scam Alert

As we all know, identity theft is on the rise. What a world we live in.

Phone scams are a particularly nasty, sneaky and creepy way of engaging in such criminal behavior. One feels as if one’s home or personal space has been invaded in an insidious way by nefarious cretins on the other end of the line.

At 69 years of age, I feel rather vulnerable. I have always been rather gullible and as I have negotiated the sixth decade of my life I have realized how my aging brain finds it a bit more difficult to differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys.

Yesterday I received a call from a gentleman, and I use that term loosely, who proceeded to offer to help me sign up for Medicare Part B. This would of course, require me to give out my social security number; a sure fire giveaway that this fellow was part of a scam operation. Many years ago, I established a policy of “just say no.” No to requests for donations to charitable organizations and I won’t answer survey questions either. If someone calls my home and wants something from me, I just say no.  The computer generated robo calls are particularly annoying.

When yesterday’s call came to me on my land-line, I did what I have done over the past few years when receiving a suspicious call. I dialed *69 and for the first time, I actually got the number being used by the scammer. It was 719-201-273-9250…an odd number indeed.

I called our Teller County Sheriff’s office on the non emergency line, and reported the number to the staff there. She advised me that this was indeed a scam and that she would add this number to their list. I asked her if I should report this number to CenturyLink, our land-line provider, and she said that would be a good idea.

After negotiating the lengthy computerized menu at the CenturyLink 800 number, I was finally connected to a service representative, a very cordial gentleman, who made a note of this number as well and thanked me for letting CenturyLink know. According to the Teller County Sheriff’s Office, one can have a specific number like this one blocked, at no charge…not a bad idea, but I didn’t explore that option with CenturyLink.  

All sorts of mischievous ways can be used to deal with these low-life callers. One could blow a whistle into the phone before hanging up. There’s a Denver based consumer advocate, who as recently as a year or so ago, would blow the whistle, metaphorically speaking, by broadcasting a scam phone number over the airwaves on his radio show, Sometimes this talk show host would even call a scammer while live on the radio…quite entertaining when the scammer could be heard attempting to respond to being scammed himself!