Dinner Time Phone Call

I probably deserved what was to come because I committed the kitchen table cardinal sin.

At dinner last night, my phone rang. Instead of letting it just go to voicemail, I decided to pick it up. The number displayed an “843” area code (South Carolina) so I thought it could be important.

A re-enactment of the scene at our dinner table last night.

“Hello, this is Brent.”

“You hit me!” an agitated voice responded.

“Excuse me?”

“You hit my car!”

“I think you have the wrong person.”

“You hit my car…in the parking lot…there was a note!”

I was still a little confused at this point. The guy on the other line was irate and the best way I can describe his tone was that of a WWE wrestler airing out his grievances in the middle of the ring.

“It wasn’t me. I don’t live in South Carolina.”

“It was you. If you don’t pay me, I am going to come after you.”

This dude was yelling through the phone as Sid and the kids heard every word of the conversation. He became even more threatening to the point of saying he had “people” who were going to find me. But by this point, the threats didn’t unnerve me because I knew this had to be a hoax. In fact, it seemed to me like I was actually just talking to a recording.

Although I probably should have hung up, I entertained the call a little longer. It was all bravado and intimidation on the other end of the line. Prank phone calls are fun, I thought, but do they really have to be placed at dinner time?

The call ended with the guy demanding my insurance information. When I refused his “kind” request, the call went dead. Hmm…perhaps that was a red flag?

When I put down my phone, Sid told me it wasn’t simply a joke or kids experimenting with voice software. She said it was an outright scam with a goal to obtain personal information from me. In fact, she was mad that at one stage in the call I told him I lived in Spokane.

Of course we called the number back only to receive a recording that said, “Hi, thank you for your call. There seems to be an issue with the number you called. Please double check your number and try again.” We Googled the number as well, but didn’t find much.

Have you received an elaborate shakedown call like this recently? If so, I am interested to know about your experience and the angle they came at you with. I slept last night without the fear of “people” coming after me but a little disturbed at the lengths folks will go to scam you. Don’t Blink.

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