Is This A Scam?

Even though I’m on the Do Not Call list, I’ve received calls lately from a real person that begin, “Hello. I’m a professional fundraiser””” Seriously?? Do people listen any further?

But I’ve also received a couple of calls over the last few days from ”˜Survey 2010′ asking, “Do you have a small dog?”

This one perplexes me.

My rule is I hang up on robocalls or anyone on an auto-dialer. (You can tell it’s an autodialer because of the delay after you answer.) Aw, who am I kidding. I hang up on most everyone. If you want to talk to me, you better disguise your voice as one of my kids. And answer fast.

But I got to wondering about this small dog call so I checked Snopes and found nothing. Then I googled and found a zillion (yes, I counted) people on the website Directory of Unknown Callers who are getting this same weird call.

I don’t have Caller ID because I’m still using two tin cans and a string, but it’s reported that the Caller ID says “Coeur D Allen 1-208-758-0218.” They either can’t spell the town in Idaho, or they’re deliberately disguising their location. (What?! Premeditated obfuscation?! Scandalous!)

One of the zillion commenters posted this:

“I just got this call, but I didn’t answer. I was too busy laughing at how stupid their name was spelled on the Caller ID. But from the comments, I’m positive it’s a scam. They ask questions that people are likely to answer “yes” to so they can record you saying “yes”. Then they’ll charge you for some service or whatever that you didn’t authorize and if you dispute it, they’ll play back a recording of them asking something completely different from what they asked you and make it seem like you said “yes” to it.

My mom had something similar to this happen at her job. The caller claimed they were from the Yellow Pages and wanted to confirm the address and phone number of the business and when they asked if it was correct and she said “yes” they hung up, but a few days later, a large bill showed up that claimed she signed up for some advertising or something. When she tried to dispute it, they played back a recording of them giving a spiel about the so-called advertising service and how much it costs and inserted her saying “yes” at the end. The problem is, she works for a public school district and schools don’t advertise because they don’t have to. Once they figured out they couldn’t get away with it, they acted like it was a mistake, but it took quite a bit to get them to back down.”

If this is the scam, why wouldn’t they widen their pool of unsuspecting marks and ask, “Do you have a dog?” … or “Do you have a pet?” … or “Do you have a phone?”


What do you think? Is this the scam? Have you received these calls?

2 thoughts on “Is This A Scam?

  1. Audrey

    get a telezapper…it makes a tri-tone sound every time you answer the phone which causes autodialed calls to think it’s a disconnected number. People who are actually trying to call you will eventually get used to the doo-doo-doo sound. I’ll see if we still have ours if you want it (we don’t need it anymore since we cancelled our landline)

  2. Pat

    I just got one of these calls. I am from the town that they say it is originating from. This call though, asked if I have lost my cat. The caller identified himself as Robert . I know many people named Robert and this call did not sound like a Robo call. Anyone who knows me knows that I neither have a cat nor answer unknown or restricted calls. I did not say yes and in fact asked if this was a wrong number. This Robert then asked me if there were things that bothered me and/or if there were things that I wish could be changed in todays economy. While The answer to both of those questions is yes, I chose to say nothing. I did however stay on the line long enough to listen for further questions. The caller disconnected once he figured out that I was not going to say yes to anything! Be careful to whom you are talking on the phone


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