Unknown Name - 803-567-3694 Call in the Middle of the Morning

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Hi All,

My wife received about four phone calls yesterday and it was the same
guy on the other line.  She said that he had (she assumes) a deep
African accent and she could not understand him.  First few calls she
was pleasant ... call came in as unknown name, unknown number at
first.

She told the guy that he had the wrong number, but he would continue
to call again.  After 4 calls she turned the Anonymous Call Rejection
on (*77) ... the calls ceased.

Just this morning at 3:22 AM, we received a call and my wife answered ...
she said it is the same guy ... she handed the phone to me and at first
I did not say anything ... but the guy with the accent said "you need to
put the money in the bank".

I told him that he had the wrong number and hung up.

He called again at 5:29 AM ... same number so I picked the phone up
and pushed a button for about 30 seconds ... then released and
listened ... he already hung up. (both AM calls showed up now as
Unknown Name, with 803-567-3694.  I tried to call this number and
received operator message of " this is not a working number " , I
assume that it is a business in Columbia, SC that does not accept
inbound calls.

I called my phone company and they said to file a complaint with my
local Sheriff Dept ... so I did, and left a message with the Annoyance
Call # 888-966-6222 and will have to wait until Tuesday to talk to a
live person.

Please let me know if any of you have received a call from this same
number and if you were able to get them to stop.

Thanks in Advance, (and Happy New Years!)

Tony

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Your message gave me some important
clues. 'Thick African Accent' and 'during overnight/early morning
hours' both point to an African origin for the calls (Nigeria,
perhaps)? Many people are frankly ignorant of the difference in time
zones around the world. Someone in Nigeria might have been calling at
a 'reasonable hour' for them, unaware that Americans are fast asleep
at those hours. Another clue worth considering is 'you better put the
money in the bank'. That tells me a Nigerian phisherman many have
landed something, and wanted to encourage the victim to make a hasty
bank deposit. Pay no attention to what the caller ID said, if it was
not outright bogus, then it may have been a translation error in the
way the originating phone company presented it or in the way the
carrier from overseas presented it (truncating one or two digits
overflow digits from the start of the number, etc.) Caller ID is not
extremely trustworthy on international calls, I have learned, nor are
American telco techniques to block or avoid such calls.

Or, alternatively, some American 'customer' of the phisherman may have
had 'buyers remorse' at some point and gave the phisherman _your_
number (or just some random accidental number which turned out to be
your number) to avoid any further hassles with the phisher-businessman.

Finally, your local sheriff will probably be incompetent or unwilling
to push any further on the matter, and the charge your phone company
may assess you to push further on it (calls to *57 or the 888-966-6222
number [your local telco's direct number for Annoyance Bureau]
typically cost $25-30 minimum for handling) will make it not worth
your own expense, and anyway, the only way telco will handle it is
by you agreeing in writing with them that if they get any positive
results to their trace you authorize them to turn the results over to
local law enforcement officials, _not to you_. Telco will explain that
(a) even phisher-business-people have privacy rights and (b) that
telco is not your personal detective agency. If you insist a crime
has been committed, then telco says 'fine', we will tell police about
the crime. And anyway, if you later found out that the 'thick African
accent' was a relative or 'good friend' (a child perhaps) who likes to
play with his telephone and make annoying prank phone calls -- just
assume that was the result of the investigation -- would you really
want police to get involved?  Telco's experience has been most people
do not want that, and that many people who engage their services for
things like this are only taking the long way around to find out who
called them, but not actually do anything.

My suggestion is that _you_ take any further such overnight phone calls,
and in your best African language-speak give the caller a piece of
your mind; emphasize and counsel him that you and your family are
_not_ the person(s) he was trying to reach -- I assume you have already
closely questioned all members of your household and community of
interest on this -- and that future calls from him will be dealt with
harshly, then you replace the receiver, dial *60 and 'block last call
recieved' and go back to sleep.  I left the phone number shown as his
feeble caller ID in this message so that if any other readers recieve
such a call, they can give him a piece of their mind instead or maybe
if it pleases them, hack _him_ to death as well. And Happy New Year to
you and your family as well.  PAT]


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