There’s nothing more fun than messing with a phone scammer on a Friday afternoon when things are slow in the newsroom.
Such an event happened to me not too long ago. I had gotten a voice message from “Social Security” telling me my card had been suspended.
Of course the guy told me his name was like Bill or George, but he sure sounded like it should be Ahmad or something of that nature. Anyway, so being the curious, devious and often obnoxious person I can be, I returned his call.
While some of the things I told him, such as my phony name, are not printable here, there are parts of which are printable.
“Your Social Security card has been suspended,” he said. “You must comply with my orders or you will be arrested by county sheriff’s deputy.”
My response was, “Oh really, which one? I know a lot of them.”
He then tried to play it against me by telling me if I do not comply they will come and get me.
“Will they use handcuffs?” I asked. “And will they put me in a patrol car and everything?”
This got the guy so flustered, he put me on hold for a minute then came back on the line.
“You must pay the fine or you will be put in jail in your county,” he said starting to sound desperate. “Deputies will be coming for you right after I finish this call.”
When I asked him why he was suspending my Social Security card he stumbled through the obvious script he was reading from and told me someone had used it for illegal reasons.
“What reasons do you have for suspending my card?” I asked trying to avoid laughing. “Who used my card?”
The man paused before he spoke or should I say threatened me again with arrest.
“You must pay us immediately or you will be arrested,” he said sounding really agitated by this point. “I will issue a warrant for your arrest, a federal warrant for your arrest by your deputies.”
When I asked him from which county he paused and then the frustration really gave him away.
“Which county do you live in?” he asked.
“I work in Harnett County, but I live on the edge of the county near Lee County,” I replied. “So, which deputies will come? Oh, I hope it’s someone I know.”
The man then got downright upset with me; maybe it was hearing the laughter in the background of my co-worker, but his voice suddenly went to a very stern tone, like he was trying to scold me as well as punish me.
“You will be arrested in the next 20 minutes, I have already called the sheriff to have you arrested,” he said. “You must pay the fine or you will be taken to jail.”
This is where it got really interesting, for me at least.
“Will Bubba be there?” I asked. “I always heard about Bubba. They say he’s really nice. Do you think he will be there?”
By this point the scammer has completely lost control and he realizes it so he bid me this final warning before he disconnected the call.
“I am through with you, if you do not pay the fine, you will go to jail immediately,” he said. “You are going to jail and that is all I have to say.”
I’m still here and he’s still calling people I guess.
Rick Curl is a reporter with The Daily Record. He can be reached at 910-230-2037 or firstname.lastname@example.org.