Telemarketers, Listen Up. I've Finally Had It!

Harris, C: Stop Calling Me. You called six times on Saturday, starting at 7:00 a.m. I called you back and told you DO NOT CALL ME AGAIN. EVER. NOT INTERESTED. Did that stop you? Not at all. On Sunday you called several times. My husband picked up once to figure out who you were. And like the nice man he is, he listened to your pitch.

It seems Harris, C has a very heavy foreign accent. She wants to inform us that our Windows computer is in great danger. It is about to be attacked by an evil virus that will destroy it. Only she, Harris, C, can save us from total doom. At this point, I pick up the extension and repeat my shouted message from the day before. I tell my husband to hang up on Harris, C. There, I got her this time.

Only I didn't. She decided to call us again at 11:00 p.m. that evening, just after we had fallen asleep. So an early wake up call on Saturday and a late night wake up on Sunday. Thanks for ruining my sleep this weekend, Harris, C.

A friend informed me he was also receiving these calls. He's pretty sure Harris, C wants to fix the scary virus by offering to take over my computer screen. Of course, I would never let a stranger who calls me at all hours do that. But there must be people who do. You see, Harris, C is preying on seniors.

I think my weekend telemarketer or scammer is related to the one who used to call us from the IRS. You may have received one of these calls. As soon as the caller claimed to be from the IRS, I slammed the phone down with my NEVER CALL AGAIN command. Of course, my polite husband listened to the pitch. This one was too absurd to take seriously, but apparently some folks did. It went like this: The IRS just audited you and you owe back taxes. You owe a huge amount of money. But if you bring a much smaller amount in cash to a random parking lot and hand it over to the agent, all will be forgiven. Yes, it's a ridiculous scam. But here's the thing. Some hapless seniors actually delivered the money.

I'm pretty sure someone is selling lists of senior citizen phone numbers. Telemarketers and scammers think these lists are worth buying, and they are probably right. If they happen to get someone over 80 on the line, score. They may actually persuade that person to let them into their computer to steal their identity or empty their bank accounts. Who would have access to such lists to sell to these crooks? Probably lots of people. Think of how many places know that I receive Social Security and am eligible for Medicare.

So here is my rant to Harris, C and her cousins 800 Service and Unknown Caller. I no longer picture you as someone desperate for income and forced to make these annoying calls. I was that person for a summer after college, so I used to try to be polite. But you are not even trying to sell me a newspaper subscription or theater tickets. You are trying to swindle me, and you keep waking me up. I just reenrolled in the Do Not Call List, and blocked you on Comcast for good measure. Yet, I fear you will not be deterred by these measures.

Harris, C: I DO NOT WANT WHAT YOU ARE SELLING. NEVER WILL. GO AWAY. I have your number. Just wish you didn't have mine.

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

Top 5 Scams That Target Older Adults