Are David and I the only ones who still have a landline?
I’m not sure why we do, but if I asked David, he’d patiently explain it to me while my eyes glazed over and I nodded as though I were actually listening. Then later on, I’d ask him again because I wouldn’t remember anything he said, and he’d say he already explained this to me. Then he would ask a silly question like, “Weren’t you listening?” So, I figure I’m better off just not asking.
Anyway, I woke up with our landline ringing last Wednesday morning. Early. Most of the time it’s people wanting to sell us something we’re not interested in. Occasionally, though, it’s a doctor’s office.
Also, my dad will call that number when he wants to get in touch.
I really haven’t heard much from Dad since he was an utter jerk to me several months ago. I wrote about it on Wayward Sparkles, but it wasn’t my finest hour — more therapy than anything — and … well, I’m not interested in re-hashing any of that.
Now, Dad and I are more or less estranged.
He’s only called me once since — to brag about something expensive he’d bought. That was a couple of months ago. I told him I was happy for him and it was nice hearing from him, too. He called mostly to brag, though. He also mentioned that he was using his neighbor’s phone because his phone “broke.” Then he admitted he’d gotten mad (presumably at his phone) and slammed it to the ground. “So if you try and call me, it doesn’t work anymore,” he said. After that, he needed to go.
That’s a couple of the reasons we keep the landline, I suppose. Just in case Dad calls. Or a doctor’s office. And whatever other reasons David might have in mind.
And maybe because it’s been so long since I’ve heard from Dad, when the phone rang so early, I thought for half a second it might be him. I looked at the screen to see who it was. “Law Offices.” I took a deep breath and answered, wondering why “law offices” would be calling us — and first thing in the morning, too.
This could not be good. I worried it might have to do with Dad.
“Hello,” I mumbled, barely awake.
The woman on the other line said something like, “Blah, blah, blah … Access Health….”
Crap. It was one of those calls. The call says one thing, and then you answer and it’s someone else. Ugh.
Then the woman said, “Can you hear me?”
Could I hear her?
That was an odd question. We never have problems with hearing others or others hearing us over OUR LANDLINE. My cellphone? That’s a whole other story. Don’t get me started on the connection issues it has! But never our landline.
Okay, that’s another reason we keep the landline. Cell reception is lousy in our house.
Anyway, my ears perked up. Even in my sleep-addled state, I knew better than to say, “Yes.”
I hung up.
There’s a scam going around where the caller tries to get the recipient of the call to say the word “yes.” This isn’t a new scam, although, I’d never heard of it before last week when Lauren and I were discussing this. I think I heard or read about it online or the TV, and I wanted to make sure she knew about it. She had. Then she told me not to ever say the word “yes” over the phone to a stranger.
We already don’t confirm or deny any personal information when we get calls. Now, we can’t even use the word “yes.”
What is this world coming to?
Apparently, once the caller has you recorded saying “yes,” that opens up a world in which nefarious scammers can do all sorts of things to make your life a living hell.
Life’s hard enough. No thanks.
I was discussing this with a friend and asked if she’d ever heard of this scam before. She said that these scammers tend to target older people.
How old do these scammers think I am?! Don’t they know that fifty-something is just the more interesting side of twenty-something?
My friend told me this is a huge problem in Florida, which is where her dad lives. He fell victim and she had to go out there and sort things out. Someone had used his voice to authorize fraudulent charges.
Anyway, it’s fortuitous that Lauren and I discussed this last week. I’m thankful I was alert enough to not fall prey early on a Wednesday morning. Otherwise, I fear that 2024 would not have gotten off to a good start.
Before last week, I wouldn’t have thought twice about saying “yes” to a “Can-you-hear-me” question.
“No” is going to be my go-to word from now on. Damned scammers. They’re turning me into a curmudgeon long before my time.
Surely by now my Dad’s replaced his old phone, but he hasn’t called me.
It’s too bad it wasn’t Dad who’d called. I could have told him not to ever say “yes” over the phone. Knowing Dad, though, he’d probably do it, anyway. Like me, his eyes tend to glaze over when someone goes into too lengthy of an explanation — or tells him not to do something. In hindsight, maybe his not calling is for the best.
Hope he’s doing well.
So do you still have a landline? Any particular reason?
Do you know anyone who’s fallen victim to this or other scams? (Details, please!)
How is December going for you so far?!
And music —