Today at work I got the call that litigation was pending against me.
To be honest, it kind of freaked me out for a minute until my brain caught up with my emotional reaction to the word “lawsuit.” First, the caller had a thick Indian accent, like so thick I couldn’t understand him. But his name was Brandon with a surname that was decidedly American so that was weird.
Then there was the fact that he was calling me at work (I work at a university) but he didn’t know if I was an employee or a student. And he asked me that twice, even though this lawsuit apparently had to do with my time at the university. So that also was weird.
He also said I should have been served papers yesterday – at work no less – which I had not.
Then he started throwing around a lot of scary words like “breach of contract” and “IRS” but even with the language barrier, it did not make a lot of sense. No facts, no dates or parties involved in the suit. I wasn’t even sure what agency he was with, though he was happy to provide a badge number without me even asking.
My Spidey-sense was kicking in at about the same time he asked if I wanted to discuss a settlement over the phone to avoid litigation.
By the time I hung up, I was kind of PO’d. First, I wasted time on this bozo – I’d been headed out for a bathroom break when my phone rang so I also really had to go.
But the thing that made me mad was thinking about the people who fall for this. I mean, it’s scary to hear someone rattle off all these legal terms and dropping the dreaded name of the IRS. So for some little old lady, she might be tempted to hand over her credit card number.
I Googled telephone scams and without putting in any more details, I found that this particular strategy is popular now, threatening lawsuits, arrest and charges of tax evasion in exchange for personal information or payment. Guys and gals overseas can purchase U.S. numbers in the D.C. area, — mine came from the 703 area code — then plug in a Magic Jack to be in business.
It made me feel better to hear stories similar to mine but it was sickening to see how pervasive this scam was. I lump these kinds of scuzzballs in the same category as the geeks who invent malware and viruses to corrupt computers. Please, just get a real job and get a real life. Quit preying on others for your existence. Use your powers for good, not evil.
And please quit calling me at work. At least have the decency to call my cell so I can ignore you properly.