Entrepreneurial Con Artists
Phone rang with an unknown number on caller ID. I answered and someone asked: Can I talk to MR Zafar (Z sounded J). Script was American but accent was Indian, Pakistanis don’t sound like J for Z. Only Indians and Bengali do that, and he did not sound Bangla speaking, most probably he was Gujrati speaking Indian.
Caller: Sir I am calling from Microsoft Technical department. Last few days we are constantly receiving error messages from your computer.
Me: Which computer?
C: Your main computer, we got several messages and your computer is in danger, it may shut down.
Me: I have 3 computers give me the computer ID.
Caller: Sir your main computer, I am going to fix this problem for you. Now are you using windows XP, windows 7, or windows 8?
Me: I asked you a question answer that, what is the machine ID you are getting messages from? I f you don’t give me the answer I am going to hang up.
Caller: (with voice raised to the point of yelling) Sir I am calling from Microsoft Technical Department, your main server in your house………
I lost patience and hung up the phone. I called back on the number on my caller ID. Got the message: “the number you are calling is not in service or disconnected.”
Obviously this was a telemarketing scam call. And caller was also lying about his organization. I have sympathy for the caller; poor fellow was uttering the scripted lie for few rupees an hour. It is the entrepreneur who is taking advantage of the technology for scamming people. VOIP has made the calls cheap and easy. The technology has made him able to hide his ID. Sitting in India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh they are out of reach of Canadian Laws of telemarketing, wire fraud, and scam operations.
As the technology has progressed, shady entrepreneurs in several countries got advantage of using telemarketing for their operation, No overhead cost, low investment and probably good profit. I receive at least one to 3 calls a day for some online Quran teaching academy, 2 to 3 times a week calls for each Long distance phone service, duct cleaning, roof repair, carpet cleaning, base water proofing, etc. They have access to my phone number and name but don’t know it is an apartment. Probably they filter South Asian names only to target for Quran teaching and Long Distance call service. Though last year I even got calls to help with repair for damage due to high wind to my house after Hurricane.
Unless the internet and VOIP operations are unified under one international law, these con artists will continue to operate and some will keep scamming the people. Probably a solution would be a network of Cyber policing organization with jurisdiction of authority to take action in any country on complaints. Such organization will also help combating terroristic hacking and cyber spying from countries in Asia and Eastern Europe.