Don’t you just hate the scammers that call you on the telephone, telling you they are from the IRS and you need to send them a bunch of money right away or go to jail? Or maybe the ones who call and say that they are holding a loved one hostage and will kill them if you don’t pay a ransom? And then there the ones who say they are coming from Microsoft and need to take control of your computer to prevent it from being destroyed by a virus. Yeah, how quickly do you think they’re gonna give that control back to you? And trust me, it’s not going be free.
Like most of you, I usually block those calls, but every once in a while when I’m feeling ornery and don’t have anything better to do, I talk to them. Not because I believe anything they’re telling me, but because I figure if they want to waste my time, I will waste theirs, too.
It’s been a couple of years since I got a call telling me that they were holding my son Travis hostage and if I didn’t pay them $10,000 he would be shot. Maybe they expected me to get all bent out of shape and actually reach for my credit card or give them a pin number, or whatever it was they were after. But what they didn’t expect was for me to tell them that I never really liked him anyhow, so go ahead and shoot him. The guy couldn’t believe that and called me a heartless bastard. What can I say? Obviously, he’s been talking to one of my ex-wives.
Now, just to set the record straight, I did call Travis afterwards and tell him I was sorry I wasn’t willing to pay the ransom. I assured him that it wasn’t that I didn’t care about him. Of course I do. But money’s tight these days and that’s a lot of bucks. My son is an understanding guy and he told me he would do the same thing if the situation was reversed. I’m not sure if that’s comforting or not, to tell you the truth.
The other day when my phone rang, my caller ID said the IRS was calling. As a matter fact, the IRS never calls you. They may send you 10,000 letters and a bunch of thugs who will take away everything you own if you don’t pay your taxes, but they won’t call you on the telephone. So I answered the telephone and said, “IRS, how can I help you?”
There was a half a second’s hesitancy and then someone with a Third World voice said, “Hello, this is the IRS calling about your delinquent taxes.”
So I replied, “Yes, this is the IRS. I’m calling to help you resolve the issue with your delinquent taxes.”
There was that same hesitation again, then the fellow said, “No, this is the IRS calling.”
To which I replied, “Yes, you have reached the IRS. Are you ready to pay your past due taxes now?”
We went back and forth like that for a little while and then he got frustrated and said that police officers were coming to arrest me right then if I didn’t give him authorization to debit my checking account for the amount of taxes I owed, or pay with gift cards or some such nonsense. Well, I certainly didn’t want that to happen, so I asked him for his checking account information so we could debit his account for the money he owed.
He repeated his threat a couple of times, and like a parrot, I said the same thing back to him. By then I was growing bored and he didn’t seem to be enjoying the game anymore, either. So I wished him well, told him that was probably the SWAT team knocking at the door and I’m sure he had to go let them in, and then I hung up. I have some time to kill this afternoon and I am hoping he calls back today. If he does, maybe I’ll tell him I am from Microsoft and offer to fix his computer.
Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an RV camping journal donated by Barbara House. Barbara makes several variations of these, and they all have pages where you can list the date, weather, where you traveled to and from that day, beginning and ending mileage, campground information including amenities at RV sites, a place for a campground rating, room to record activities, people met along the way, reminders of places to see and things to do the next time you’re in the area, and a page for notes for each day.
To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – A different version of you exists in the minds of everyone who knows you.