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A Very Scary Phone Call

My husband has just left for work, and the phone rings at 17:17. I picked it up, and there was silence on the other end. I stayed on, thinking it might be Tim calling from his mobile at a traffic light or something and I repeat hello a few more times. A female Indian voice (from India, not Indian as in Native American) gets on the line and says to me “Is this [insert our street address?]”. No hello, no asking if I was me or to speak with Tim…just is this [address]. I responded with “I’m not going to verify anything until you tell me where you are calling from”. I got rattled back some random organization name and then “we’re calling on behalf of a grant for this property”.

Me: no, I’m sorry, we don’t have any pending grants for our property (again, not giving name or address)
Woman: I am calling to tell you about them
Me: No, we’re not interested. (woman starts talking over me) Please take us off your calling list. (Woman still talking over me) Thank you.
Woman: [pause for breath]
Me: Please take us off your list. (woman starts talking over me again) Thank you.
Woman: [pause for breath]
Me: Excuse me, we are not interested. (I suppose at this point I should have just hung up, but generally, if the other person hears you say “please take us off your list” they respond back with “Yes I will do that. Sorry” and I was waiting for confirmation that she heard me)
Woman: How about your husband, I bet he is interested
Me: No one in this house is interested. Please remove us from your list.
Woman: No, I will not remove you. We will keep on calling you. I will give your number to everyone I know and then everyone will call you [woman slams phone down].

Cue MASSIVE panic attack.

I tried 1471*, and I get the response that the number wasn’t recorded or something like that. So I called BT. Spoke with a lovely man named Roger. Roger explained that he couldn’t trace the call because the message I received indicates that the phone call originated from overseas. I told him about the phone call, but there was nothing he could do, he said. I asked him if I should file a police report, and he said I could if I wanted to, but without the phone number there isn’t much that could be done.

I’m really quite shaken up right now over it. I mean, I get that it was just a telemarketer (though to get around the fact that we have our number registered, the operator will always tell you that it is a survey and they do not have to comply with the telemarketing list**), but you don’t threaten people like that!

And, it’s 17:44. The phone just rang. I jumped out of my skin and was honestly afraid to answer it (it was a friend of mine).

*Edit* 18:14 – Spoke with Tim. He doesn’t think I need to worry about it and thinks that if anyone calls us I should just slam the phone down. When I pointed out to him that they had our phone number and address – he pointed out that anyone with a local phone book could get the same. I’m feeling much better now and we’ve decided that if someone from India wants to waste their money calling the UK to get their jollies off — let ’em. If the call had been more local, then I’d have grounds to file a police report and things, but as it’s coming from India, I don’t think we’re in any danger of people showing up on our doorstep.

*If you have a BT Landline in the UK, 1471 will repeat back to you the last number that called. I think it’s similar to *69 in the US (or is it *66? I never used it, so I don’t know!)
**I know this is true in the US, as I used to work at a company that did satisfaction surveys fur nursing facilities and we were allowed to call family members who were listed on the Do Not Call list because we were conducting a survey. I have no idea if this is true in the UK, but it’s what both Tim and I have been told when people like this call us.

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  1. qtshorty1625 (LJ) April 11th, 2011 1:34

    Oh holy geez! ::big hugs for you:: I wonder what her problem was. I hope for your sake that it was an empty threat, because at the very least, that would get very annoying if that many people were calling you!

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