Call me? The Wacky World of Phone Spam

I work in a small office suite.  Most of my co-workers are remote.  Our main number(s) is currently directed to my extension. (This was not always the case and changed a little over a year or so ago...if I recall correctly)  When I am not physically in the office, I usually forward my extension to my cell phone.  The phone rarely rings; things are usually more email or text based.  It would not be extraordinary (or all that unusual) if a day went by without the phone ringing at all.

Over time, I've come to know what calls are "real" and what are not.  MOST of the time, if my phone reads "wireless caller" it's my boss or one of my reps.  If it comes up with a person's name (Smith, J) or a legitimate sounding business (Smith Family Pharmacy), I pick up the phone, but I don't say anything until the person on the other end says hello.

Maybe that sounds rude to you.  If I did it at home, I'd say it WAS rude.  But there is a method of my madness.  I'm waiting to see if there is a real person on the line and if it is a true call.  If after a pause I hear a voice say:  "Don't hang up..." I know it's a robocall.  And if the phone reads Sioux City, IA or Belle Glade, FL I probably WON'T pick up because I know (having learned over the year +) that it's just spam.

Recently, these calls have become more omnipresent and manage through the joys of technology to leave messages on my voice mail.  The Belle Glade even started to call over night; it's a good thing that I silence my cell phone and leave it in another room over the weekend (when I have been known to forward my office phone) because I really would not have appreciated a recorded advertisement at 2:56 AM on a Saturday.  (I have since blocked that and several numbers from my cell phone; I am not able to do that at my office extension.)

So what does Belle Glade want at all hours of the day?(To be honest, I don't think it's actually Belle Glade...from what I can figure out, it's a Google Voice Number and there is no "real person" behind it.  What is it?  A continuous loop of advertisements.  I only know this because I listened to the whole thing finally.  At first I thought it was just an ad for the Miyako Hotel (located in Los Angeles!) and hoped that as the spiel ran out I could hit a number and get someone to let them know that I wasn't planning on being in the area ANY TIME in the near (or even not so near) future and that I WASN'T a meeting planner.  Instead, another message ran and then another and another (including one for finding a residence/apartment in NYC) and then looped back to the Miyako hotel.  (Still not going to stay there...and at this point no matter how soothing their background music is, I am ready to say that even if I WAS in the area, I wouldn't stay there!)

However, now Belle Glade and all of these random cities/numbers (because I seem to be getting more of them, I'm paying less attention to where they are from) are getting more "inventive."  One of their latest voice mails was a rap.  Since I'm not a rap fan (or anywhere NEAR the target demographic), I have no idea if this is a "real" song or just some piece of crap.  The language...well needless to say I couldn't put it on speaker if I wanted to keep my job (or my head.)  The phrase "I'm innocent" was repeated.  If that gives anyone any clue, let me know.

They've further ratcheted up their game and I'll admit I've been compelled to answer when they call as a result of what I heard recently when I picked up.  (The below dialogue [really a monologue] is transcribed as I best could make out.)

Hey Sheila don’t...he said don’t  touch the buttons. We just have to wait.
They’re gonna fix our problem; it’s just Microsoft people isn’t it?

Well I don’t know; if  the damns things broken or not.  I’m not touching any numbers though.
We’re going keep it our special.

Oh aye, right.

Let me put him on hold; they told me to wait on the line; so let’ just wait and see what happens.

Cause We don’t want to...we don’t want to get stuck... it’s taken me an hour to get this far
with this bloody man...I don’t know (???) . He said I was on  hold; we have to listen
to the music going on and on.

Wait let me get the tea on; I’ll put it on speaker.

Go on shuffle away lass.

Yeah...never go back to visit...

Go on, get the chain rolling...Go on



Was I eavesdropping on a call?  Had someone butt dialed me while on hold with someone else?  You might be lead to think so.  But being sly (if not smart), I figured out that what I was hearing was not live or real.  This was confirmed when I received the exact same message twice (in the same day) on my voice mail.  So intrigued was I that I listened to the message over and over again so that I could get it down perfectly; or as close to it as I could. After all its purposely difficult at times to make out, especially when the "caller" seems to be speaking to someone else whose voice is never quite heard.  

It makes me wonder.  Who wrote this?  What are they trying to do?  What do they want me to do?  (I've never spoken; I just listen.  Is that creepy enough for you?)  

I'm puzzled.  I'm intrigued.  And perhaps a little disappointed that I haven't gotten any phone calls today (as I write this).  Maybe that's what they want?

Has anyone else gotten any bizarre calls that go beyond annoying robos?  Anyone have any idea what the heck is going on with all of this?  Let me know...especially if your name is Sheila.

UPDATE:  Walked into the office today...3 voice mails since I left last night at 5 PM.  Sometime between the hours of 5:00 PM and 8:30 AM, I received three messages which all were the same and all were:  "Hey Sheila don’t..." I never felt so loved in all my life!


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