- "Hello, my name is Bruce, and I'm calling from the Microsoft Technical Department, and your PC is sending out error messages. We want to help you fix the problem."
I have fun with these idiots. First, the accent is always coming from somewhere in the vicinity of India. Second, the caller ID is always a bogus number. Third, I'm on a MAC so there can't be any PC error message anyway. I love to start out sounding concerned and needing help. When we get to the part where they want access to my computer, I love to challenge their name, with the following, "Okay, so Bruce, we know that's not your real name. Are you related to Bob, Mike, Terry, Tom, Justin and Larry who have all tried this scam already and called me in the last few weeks?" That's it they're gone, although they usually leave me enough time to experiment with a few combination expletives.
- In the late eighties, we used to get letters at Hasselblad from Nigeria asking for help to secure the funding of a past government administrator. They always came in on what was then airmail stationery - light almost tissue like paper. Today, it's all email and the letter this week was from a woman who's dying of cancer and wants to hear from me regarding sending twenty-two million dollars if I promise to distribute half of it to charity. She makes it very clear that eleven million dollars is mine to keep.
First, the emails always start with "Hello Dear". I guess that's because the last TV show the originator watched was Angela Lansbury in Murder She Wrote and they think that's a pretty common introduction between Americans. Second, it's always to "undisclosed recipients", making me feel far less than special. Third, there's always a health disaster involved versus the old government budget excess that needed to be moved. Last on the list, it's loaded with typos. I want to give these guys a gift of a little spell check software. They've got the worse spelling and grammar on the planet!
- OMG, it's an election year. We're not even through the conventions yet, and we're already starting to get calls from politicians. The one this week that hit the IDHTTS* button was a request to join a live conference call with Representative Vern Buchanan here in Florida. It was in the middle of the day and, I was late to do a sound byte for "Why?" and the phone rang. (*Note: I-Don't-Have-Time-for-This-Sh__)
First, I hate that these calls are always generated by a robot. At least my Microsoft guys make me feel important enough to put a live body on the scam. Second, why do they always sound like they have a right to our time? "Please hold for a very important call from..." What is it about the arrogance of the staff of any elected official that makes them believe we're all sitting around waiting for their calls?
Okay, there it is my contribution to the world of sarcasm on a beautiful Saturday morning. Hopefully, I've brought a little entertainment value into your life. Feel free to share any of your scam frustrations and we should be able to build a pretty entertaining list.
Although take your time - I've got a full day ahead. With the eleven million dollars coming in from Nigeria life is really going to change around here, and I promised Sheila we'd buy a yacht today!