It’s OK, honestly. It was only a spamcalling scam artist.
I might be really weird, but I enjoy when we get the “Unknown Caller, Unknown Area” on the caller ID on the house line. Aimee rolls her eyes at me. I know this will be an opportunity to fine tune my verbal jousting skills, usually with someone who’s less s
killed at it than I am. I’m not ever rude, but I certainly put those poor people through their paces.
In this case tonight, it was the kind of call I was waiting for for years. The one I’d heard about for years but just never hit the jackpot on…until tonight. These people call up and trick people like my grandfather into thinking there’s actually something wrong with their computer, then get them to allow a remote session into their machine, wherein all of your data is now accessible. Not the best thing. Then you pay them, because you don’t know any better. Scumballs.
“Sir, my name is Frank1 and I’m calling about a problem you’re having with your Windows XP.”
“Your Windows XP, sir, you’re having a problem with it?”
Uh, what? I…and then it dawned on me. Windows scam call!!
“I am? Oh, wow, this is one of those Windows scam calls I’ve heard so much about! OK, I’ll bite. Tell me what my problem is with Windows XP.”
Frank (somewhat annoyed): “Sir, I did not say Windows XP.”
“Yes you did. You said Windows XP. I’m not running Windows XP.”
Frank: “I said Windows, sir.”
“You’re in luck, I happen to be a network administrator at a university in the area! I’ve heard a ton about these calls. Tell me what my problem is with Windows.”
Frank (clearly annoyed now, snitty tone): “Go ahead, sir, just tell me what i do on these calls, tell me what is my job.”
“Hey, you called me. Clearly you’re a wizard of some sort. I’m not running Windows.”
“No, I’m not running Windows at all.”
“Windows is your operating system.”
Now at this point, I’m half giggling over the rest of the conversation because the ridiculousness really starts getting to me.
Me: “No, Linux is my operating system.”a
Frank: “Linux is not an operating system, it is Windows.”2
Me: “Uh, I assure you it is. I mean, clearly you’re asking about Windows because it’s what, 80% of the operating systems in use today?”
Frank (flabbergasted): “What, sir?”
Me: “And I mean, really, you have your Windows, and then your Apple computers running OS X, and then you have Linux, which is neither of those.”
Frank (starting to lose his patience): “Oh come on, it is all Windows, Linux is a rip off of Windows!”
Me: “No it’s not, it’s a completely different operating system, like Mac OS X is totally different from Windows and…”
Frank (patience lost): “Ffffffffffffuck off, mang.”
And with that he hung up on me. And I started cackling like the Wicked Witch of the West. I mean, seriously. Perhaps the best robocall I’ve gotten in months, and it’s the filet mignon of spamcalling. But the scary thing is this: people believe this kind of crap, much like people who answer phishing emails at work.3 If this helps…hey great. I enjoyed my 4 minutes on the phone with “Frank” and cost his scamming bosses some money on the call from the Bangalore Offshore Services. Win-win-win, all around.