New Scam, Same Scum

Last week, I received several phone calls that, once answered, gave me several seconds of silence, and then a hang-up. Curiosity got the better of me (as well as the temptation of “free nights and weekends” on my cell phone), so I called it back.

That’s when I found out that the scum-sucking swine (with all due apologies to pigs everywhere) that are telemarketers have a new scam: they get you to call them, so their pitch is on YOUR dime.

It took me more calls than I care to admit to get a transcript of the pitch (you can say a lot in 100 seconds), but I got it all (and verified it all). Let’s see what the fine folks at (company name and phone number omitted) have to say, with a bit of creative translation.

(Author’s note: yes, I’m sure it’s them. I found their direct line and managed to get the exact same message from one of their phone options. And I have their number saved three times on my Caller ID.)

Hello and thank you for calling our non-profit campaign center. We’re not going to tell you who we are, because we don’t want angry people tracking us down.

“We are currently unavailable or on another phone call.”
The odds are whoever is calling us back is pissed, and we don’t want to talk to THEM.

We represent several law enforcement and public safety organizations, both at a state and a local level, and we want to apologize for missing you on your earlier phone call, as we’ve had some difficulty with our new telephone system.
Let’s see. We’ll blend in an appeal to civic duty and a bit of CYA for those hangup calls that got the sucker to call us back on his dime. That’ll give us a little protection.

The purpose of the call was simply to let you know about the many worthwhile law enforcement and public safety fundraising projects we’re working on. We hope to be able to reach you again in the future, because people like yourself are the backbone of our many projects which help your police officers and fire fighters.
We want you to give us money. If you do, we’ll give a little to unionized public employees who you are already paying through your taxes.

Also, we’d like you to be aware that the federal do not call list does not apply to calls that are made on behalf of non-profit organizations.
FU.

However, if you do wish to be not be called back, we will certainly honor your request.
If you ask really nicely, we’ll leave you alone. Ain’t we decent?

And although we may represent many organizations, we don’t represent them all, and if you want to be placed on our internal do not call list, after the tone just please leave your full name — spell it if necessary — and your phone number beginning with your area code. Please don’t forget to include your area code.
We’ll still probably bug you, but we’ll use different names. But in the meantime, if you give us your name and phone number to re-sell to other telemarketers, we’ll think of leaving you alone. And don’t forget that this whole call is on your dime, not ours.

Please note it takes up to 90 days to process to be completed at all levels, and this will certainly assure that you don’t receive a call back.
So now that we’ve found you, we’re going to keep bugging you for three months before we leave you alone. For now. Maybe.

Now please consider, though, that if you ask to be placed on our internal do not call list, you won’t have an opportunity to help sponsor the police and fire organizations you normally help sponsor throughout the year and during our holiday season, and without people such as yourself, we would not be able to continue our many worthwhile causes.
Because God knows the only way you’d ever consider supporting your local police in fire is if some telemarketing scum from Maryland calls you up and nags you. Lord knows you don’t already through taxes and other local fund-raisers.

And again, we apologize for missing your call, and please remember to buckle up, drive safely, and have a great year. Thank you.
And with that, this also serves as a valuable public-service announcement. Who could complain about that?

I think on Monday I’ll give them a call on their direct line (omitted — see below) and give them an earful or two. And if anyone else would like to get the jump on them and sign up for their “internal do not call” list as well, that might save you an annoying call or three in the future.

At least three months in the future, however. Ain’t they just the model of efficiency?

J.

(Author’s note #1: The full, uninterrupted, uninterpreted message and originating phone number are in the extended section.)

(Author’s note #2: On reflection, I have decided to omit the company’s name and direct phone line from the above piece. However, I am fully confident that it is them, and may change my mind after speaking with them today. I personally have absolutely no fear about any repercussions of doing so, but I also have the luxury of hiding behind a pseudonym here — it’s not my full, legal name plastered all over the site. I can think of far better ways of thanking Kevin on the one-year anniversary of my presence on Wizbang than getting him sued.)

Update: I ended up calling them, and spoke with the telemarketing spokesweasel of Dennis Marketing Group of Owings Mills, Maryland. the common theory of the commenters was correct — the calls were the result of a “predictive dialer” that didn’t connect me to a live telemarketer in time. He also said that the Do Not Call list doesn’t apply to non-profit organizations or those representing them, and they were working for the New Hampshire Highway Patrol. (It didn’t occur to me until afterwards that New Hampshire doesn’t have a Highway Patrol, just State Police.) He also said that he’d be glad to put me on their do not call list, and I told him that I didn’t accept his 90-day limit. Any future calls would be met by insults, obscenities, and any other forms of abuse I could think of at the time.

If anyone else would like to call them and pre-emptively register for their list, their number is (410) 654-0100.

]]>< ![CDATA[

(410) 581-0821

Hello and thank you for calling our non-profit campaign center. We are currently unavailable or on another phone call. We represent several law enforcement and public safety organizations, both at a state and a local level, and we want to apologize for missing you on your earlier phone call, as we’ve had some difficulty with our new telephone system.

The purpose of the call was simply to let you know about the many worthwhile law enforcement and public safety fundraising projects we’re working on. We hope to be able to reach you again in the future, because people like yourself are the backbone of our many projects which help your police officers and fire fighters.

Also, we’d like you to be aware that the federal do not call list does not apply to calls that are made on behalf of non-profit organizations. However, if you do wish to be not be called back, we will certainly honor your request. And although we may represent many organizations, we don’t represent them all, and if you want to be placed on our internal do not call list, after the tone just please leave your full name — spell it if necessary — and your phone number beginning with your area code. Please don’t forget to include your area code.

Please note it takes up to 90 days to process to be completed at all levels, and this will certainly assure that you don’t receive a call back. Now please consider, though, that if you ask to be placed on our internal do not call list, you won’t have an opportunity to help sponsor the police and fire organizations you normally help sponsor throughout the year and during our holiday season, and without people such as yourself, we would not be able to continue our many worthwhile causes.

And again, we apologize for missing your call, and please remember to buckle up, drive safely, and have a great year. Thank you.

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