Have you gotten a scam phone call? I did

So. Things have happened here in NYC, and then all over the country. I have spent a great deal of time “doing” the election. Much of that time has been checking in with Nate Silver at least three times a day. Nate kept me sane, as he did in 2008.

In that long meantime between whenever and now, one thing happened that I can report on: I got an egregiously scammy phone call. And thereupon, as is my wont, behaved like a good citizen. Not a great citizen, or a heroic citizen. Just a plain old down-home good one. Here’s what occurred:

During election season, I gave a lot of bucks to particular candidates, always via the internet. And a lot of candidates followed up my frantic generosity with phone calls, many calls, every day. I don’t pick up calls that aren’t clearly ID’d as people I know but I got sort of used to ID-ing the calls by their area codes. “Oh, Amy’s calling!” I’d say to myself, and “Here’s Heidi’s camp — hi, Heidi!”

The political callers didn’t leave messages.

So I wasn’t surprised to get a call from a 876 code, but I was surprised to hear this message: “Hello, Miss Naomi, this is Mr. Donald Miller from the American Shopping Network. Please give us a call at 216-759-4590 to receive your second place check for five million dollars. Thank you, congrats, and goodbye.”

No. I didn’t call and have not received a five million dollar check. What I did do was enter the website of our intrepid Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, find the form for Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau, print it out, fill it in, and send it to the bureau on the same day I got that call.

Sure, I could have done nothing. But it seemed that since our government provided me with something to do, I should do it. And a few days later I got a confirming letter from the Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection — who said they were forwarding my letter to the Federal Trade Commission. Apparently, it’s the federal government that deals with these things.

If you get such a call, here’s where you should report it:

Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580.

I’ve done my citizen’s duty and feel good about it. And of course I voted on Tuesday.

P.S. Gee, I hope none of you called Mr. Donald Miller back and maybe gave him some money to seal the deal, I hope. On the other hand, if you did and have received a five million dollar second place check, do please let me know.


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