69 entries categorized "Telemarketers"

It's just not fun anymore

You, like me, may have noticed an increase in the number of 'hang up' calls over the last week or so. According to the Telstra website in the section 'Unwelcome Calls':

Currently there are a number of telemarketing companies using predictive dialling equipment. This equipment can cause automatic hang up calls after a few seconds to your phone service.

From Wed-Fri last week we had about 30.

Now I enjoy a good chat with a Telemarketer as much as the next man, but this new strategy just takes all the fun out of it... so much so that I'm seriously thinking of registering on the 'Do Not Call' list.

You can register your phone number on the Do Not Call Register website to help prevent unsolicited telemarketing calls being made to your household.

The way they play the game is the Telemarketers have new software that dials 20 numbers at once. It's like a lottery. If you're quick and are the first to answer, you get to speak to a Telemarketer! If not, you answer the phone and get hung up on.

By the way, if you've ever felt guilty about hanging up on a Telemarketer, don't be. Odds are they've already hung up on you several times and you're not even aware of it!

As I was writing this post though, I was lucky enough to answer my phone promptly and was asked

"I need to speak to you about your Telstra line."


"Are you the person in charge of the Telstra line?"

"How many numbers does your computer call at once?"

"I'm sorry?"

"How many phone numbers does the computer in front of you dial at once?"

"Just one."

"No, really."


"How many?


Sigh. Just like the good old days...


"Hello, may I speak to Susie?"

"Do you mean Sue-Anne?"


"Who shall I say is calling?"

".... it's Violet."

"From where?"

"Wyndham Vacation Resorts."

"I'm sorry, she doesn't have time to speak to telemarketers."

"I'm not trying to sell anything over the telephone."

"Are you marketing something?"

"I'm not trying to sell anything."

"That's not what I asked, are you marketing anything?"

"Are you her partner? I just want to tell you that you have been specially selected to..."

Then she went into a 3 minute monologue which I put on speakerphone so the Lorikeets could enjoy it. When she finished, there was silence. She said "Hello?" and strangely, when Sparks replied "Hello" in his best voice, she hung up.


"Hello, Magic Unlimited, Tim Ellis speaking."

"Is that Magic Unlimited?"


"I'm calling from Allegiance to update your business files. Are you still at 3/114..."

"What is Allegiance?"

"We're a national company that updates business files."

"What are you updating them for?"

"For Allegiance. We update business files."

"But what are you updating them for?"

"Thanks for your time. Have a nice day."


I had to google to get the answer to my question:

They operate eight, 25 seat outbound call centres in cities around Australia.

They collect information specifically for the Accor Hotel chain but then, as it says in the Accor Privacy Policy below, sell that information to other companies including "mailing houses".

You should be aware that from time to time, members of the Accor Group may have a minority interest in other companies in the tourism, hospitality or services industry. Such companies now include APVC Limited (the Accor Premiere Vacation Club) and Allegiance Marketing Pty Ltd (which markets Accor Advantage Plus) both of which are part owned by AAPC Limited. Your personal information may be transferred to those companies and others in which members of the Accor Group have a minority interest for the purpose of promoting the services and products which these companies offer. Those companies can be contacted if you elect to stop receiving such information at any time.

All personal information collected by the Accor Group is only made available to those authorised individuals who need to handle that information for the purposes outlined in this policy. In some circumstances, personal information may also be disclosed outside the Accor Group.

For example, we may disclose personal information to third parties to whom Accor contracts out specialised functions (such as mailing houses and printing companies). In such cases we will require an undertaking from such persons to comply with applicable privacy legislation and that they do not use the personal information for any purposes beyond the scope of our contract with them.

Another Hellow,

"Hellow" must be a real word after all. I got this email from queenlove400@gmail.com. A lady who thinks I will "mash her type".

Good day my dear.How are you doing over there.Hope fine in a short way, my name is Queen.From west africa.I am a young single pretty girl,A girl that never married.I am a member of these dating site.i see your profile here and i think that you will mash my type. i will give you full explanation of myself when i hear from you.
thanks from,


My reputation as a real estate investor must be growing as I received this lovely email from a 53 year old illiterate seeking my advice.


Is a pleasure meeting you. I am Hon. John K. James, 53 years old happily married and God blessed us with two lovly children. I have a tought of investing outside the shores of my country.
For this is why I desperately need/anticipate for your assistance.  In
 the proposed investment over there in your country. I intend to go into
 the real estate/hotel investment depending on what your professional advice will be. Please, I will fastly need your reply because it is a project I will fastly start as soon as I get a suitable advice. Pleasse get back to me by this box

Telemarketers must have a new rule

Over the last two days I've had at least 8 calls from those wacky Indian Telemarketers, but judging from the brief duration of the calls, they must have some kind of new rule about getting us off the line quickly.

Which is ironic, because usually it's us who are trying to get rid of them.

I'll give you an example:

"Hello, may I speak to the owner of the business?"



"I'm just thinking...."


Or this one:

"Hello, may I speak to the person in charge of your telephone accounts?"

"Are you a Telemarketer?"

"No I just want to speak to the person in..."

"I think you're a Telemarketer!"


The calls have been averaging at less that 30 seconds.

Why bother calling me at all if you're not even going to TRY to sell me something.

The only one I could keep on the phone around one minute was a guy I tried my "echo" technique on.

Whatever he said to me, I repeated back to him with the same accent and intonations.

It was great! I'm sure he thought there was something wrong with the line but, like the rest, he hung up quite quickly.

I think it's funny how some people think it's important to be polite to these people.

They call us at all hours, trying to sell us something by misrepresenting themselves or asking us to take part in a fake survey, but worst of all, they are quite happy to hang the phone up in our ears with no warning and not so much as a "I'm sorry for troubling you, good day!"

Hilarious Spam!

I just got the funniest spam email I've ever read.

Not only was it filled with ridiculous, nonsensical text (designed to fool bots into thinking it's a real email I imagine) like this:

grant and i talked last fall about wanting to take control and own a home and make some of our dreams a reality so we planned to move back to california for some opportunities there
and then i found myself a mother funny i thought id teach awhile longer and have grant all to myself and save some money
cate and i went through some of the free options around the web for valentines to download and print
ten months after we were married i was a stay at home mom living the student life again while grant went back to school a few months later another unplanned event- my mom passed away suddenly
you love him too right

But the headline is what really got me.

Send you lover to heaven by trying this fantastic tablet.

What are they selling? Arsenic?!

Steven's Directory - There is no such thing

If you get a call from 'Steven's Directory', and we get several each week so I'm sure you do too, they will insist on "confirming your complimentary listing".


All they are doing is confirming your information so they can onsell it to other Telemarketers as current, up to date, suckers.

All you need to do is to ask for a copy of the directory.

This annoys them no end.

They will tell you that their policy is not to send out copies but you can buy them in "every major bookstore".

Now, the first thing that's wrong with that is why would any non-spammer pay money for a directory? The second thing is that it isn't available in any bookstore. (The closest Amazon have is the Steven's Portsmouth Directory of 1887)

While on the line to the Steven's telemarketer I googled Steven's Directory and got no listing - odd for such a popular book. He told me it's published in Victoria (contradicting an earlier telemarketer who had said it was available in every state in Australia except Victoria) and I'd spelled it wrong. According to him it's 'Stevan's Directory'. That got even fewer google listings.

He then promised that, after he had finished confirming my details he would get customer care to call me back with a list of bookstores that carry the directory.

I asked him to put them on first so I could check out the directory before confirming my listing.

He hung up.

I think the United Nations made a mistake

A few days ago I received the following email from a Mr Jubrilbbb on behalf of Dr Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations:


- Attention:

Beneficiary How are you doing today?
Hope all is well with you and family? You may not Understand why this mail came to you. We have been having a meeting for the past Seven months which ended Three days ago with the former secretary to the UNITED NATIONS in the person of Mr.Kofi Anna.

This email is to all the people that have been scammed or extorted money from because of your contract payment execution in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS have agreed to compensat! e them with the sum of US$7.500.MILLON this includes every foreign contractors that may have not received their contract Sum and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government problems or irregularities etc.

We found your name in our list and that is why we are contacting you, this have Been agreed upon and have been signed by the United Nations Board of Directors and Trustees.You have to contact Jim Ovia, our payment agent in West Africa, as he is our UNITED NATIONS representative in West Africa, contact him immediately for your Cheque/International Bank Draft/ATM CASH CARD of US$7.500.MILLON this funds are in a Bank Draft for security purpose.

He will send it to you and you can clear it in any bank of your choice.Therefore, you should send him your full Names and telephone numbers/your correct mailing addresses where you want him to send the MONEY to you. and tell him your file Reference below (RE-10! 77_V). Contact Dr Jim Ovia immediately for your Cashier Cheque/Atm card: Person to Contact: Name: Dr Jim Ovia
Email: jim.ovia1@hotmail.com
Thanks and God bless you and your family. Hoping to hear from you as soon as you cash your Bank Draft.
Making the world a better place for the sake of humanity. Give him your file Reference (RE-1077-V) and you are free to contact him via telephone number
Dr. Ban Ki-Moon.

I have to admit I was surprised by the fact that they found my name on the list, so I immediately wrote back explaining that there must have been some kind of mistake:

Dr Mr Jubrilbbb,
Thank you for your letter.
As much as I could use US$7.500MILLION (is this seven and a half million or seven thousand five hundred million?) unfortunately your list must be somewhat inaccurate as I have not been scammed.
I recommend though, that you really double check your source before sending out any more of these offers. If I'm on the list chances are there are many others on it as well who are not worthy recipients of the money too.
Thanks for your time,
Mr A J Finkypoo

I guess the name A J Finkypoo must have also been on the list as Dr Ki-Moon interrupted his UN duties to send me an immediate reply from his personal yahoo account bankimoon39@yahoo.com:

You have to contact Jim Ovia, our payment agent in West Africa, as he is our UNITED NATIONS representative in West Africa, contact him immediately for your Cheque/International Bank Draft/ATM CASH CARD of US$7.500.MILLON this funds are in a Bank Draft for security purpose. He will send it to you and you can
clear it in any bank of your choice.
Therefore, you should send him your full Names and telephone numbers/your correct mailing addresses where you want him to send the MONEY to you. and tell him your file Reference below (RE-1077_V). Contact Dr Jim Ovia immediately for your Cashier Cheque/Atm card:
Person to Contact: Name: Dr Jim Ovia
Thanks and God bless you and your family. Hoping to hear from you as soon as you cash your Bank Draft. Making the world a better place for the sake of humanity. Give him your file Reference (RE-1077-V) and you are free to contact
him via telephone number
Dr. Ban Ki-Moon.

Obviously he replied too quickly and didn't actually read what I wrote to him, so on Tuesday I wrote to him trying to clear things up:

Dr Mr Ki-Moon,
You didn't read what I wrote did you?
I understand that you are very busy, being Secretary General of the UN and everything, but if you could take just a minute to read what I wrote below, it could save you at least $US7.500MILLION.
Mr A J Finkypoo

Today I got a reply from him, but it was just a copy of all our emails with nothing added. The stress of running the UN and personally giving out all of this money must be getting to him.

I did, however, receive another email today addressed to Mr Finkypoo. It came from the Havana Hospital, which apparently is located in Cambodia...


Hello Friend Finkypoo

How are you and your family, you may not know/understand why this message came to you, My name is Doctor Ricky Mazzeo, from Australia but base and work in Cambodia.

Am sorry  i am contacting you VIA email/ Internet, this message is in regards to Mr. Terry Morgan an American citizen whom lost his life few weeks to brain tumor,  Before his death me made me to understand that he deposited diamond at world Bank in Switzerland, that he will like me to look for a second part that will join hand with me, to claim his asset, because it worth hug sum of money, i don't know where to sell diamond as Cambodia is a very small island, thats why i am contacting you,i want you to stand  by my side for this project, your role is to to stand as Mr. Terry Morgan extend relative for this project to be fulfilled. Your understanding matters a lots and behold this is not an internet scam.

Upon waiting for your replying i will need you to send me your, Full Name, Contact Address, and your Direct Mobile No, to enable me proceed for the claim, further detail will be as soon as i hear from you..

Best Regards
Doctor Ricky Mazzeo


I must admit, I was very disappointed that a man of such standing as Dr Ban Ki-Moon chose to share my details with someone so dishonest they want me to pretend to be a relative of a dead man. 

But at least, as Doctor Ricky explained, "this is not an internet scam".

I wrote back to him asking:

Do you know Dr Ban Ki-Moon?
I have been corresponding with him about a similar matter.
Mr A J Finkypoo

I have a feeling his reply will explain to me that Dr Ban Ki-Moon cannot be trusted but he can.

UPDATE - Yes, that's exactly what he told me:



Dear Australian Brother In Arms Mr A J Finkypoo,

In regards to your reply, NO I don’t know who is Dr Ban Ki-Moon, all I hear in news is that Africa using him in scam, I hear so many things about African scam like Zenith Bank, CBN Bank, Sky Bank and so many others, all this come from African the route of evil,  I made a mistake by re-sending you this same proposal with another ID, once it comes don’t border replying, lets work here


I really appreciate it and am happy I am able to work with my follow brother  i want you to understand what you are into and take it very serious, This diamond deposited by late Mr. Terry W. Morgan is a very hug asst and need accurate understanding trust to see this project come to pass.

The Diamond worth USD$40M Dollars, as soon as the world bank release it to you, we will sell it and share the money 50% for you and 50% for me.
Instructions as follows, I contacted the World Bank of Swizz, and they directed me to Asset Liability Management ( Treasury Department ) i sent them an email and they reply me asking me the relationship you have with Late Mr. Terry Morgan, i told them that you are his extended relatives, from mother side, and they told me that they need you to contact them with your full data like,
1. Your Full Name
2. Your Contact Address
3. Your Direct Mobile No
4. Your Age
5. Your Marital Status
6. Your Occupations
7. Your Position in office
This are the required info needed by Mr. James Walter the asset Liability Management ( Treasury Department ) of World Bank
Contact them with this email Id Below
Email. treasuryservicesworldbank.org@upmail.us
Name. Mr. James Walter
Department. asset Liability Management ( Treasury Department )

Dont forget that this is a deal btw me and you, on no account will you tell Mr. Walter that we mat over the internet, if you say so we will be disqualified, any info he ask you about Late Mr. Terry Morgan which you did not understand, kindly come back to me so that i will update you, don't forget to always keep in touch with me.
Attach here is a copy of my Identity
Best Regards
Doctor Ricky Mazzeo

Of course I won't tell anyone about our deal... but I did want to just clarify things with him:

You really don't know who he is?
Dr Ban Ki-Moon is the Secretary General of the United Nations.
He is also the only person I have given my details to and yet, somehow, you now have them also.
If he is involved in scamming then I have lost my faith in the United Nations.
I'm glad you are not one of those scam artists... now, what do you want me to do again, pretend to be the relative of a man who died of a brain tumour so we can take his $40m fortune?

UPDATE - He's being very upfront with me about this "non-scam", but Dr Ban Ki-Moon seems to have stopped emailing me. Oh well, he was only offering me $US7.500MILLION but Dr Ricky wants to split $40m with me:

Dear Australian Brother In Arms Mr A J Finkypoo,

Thanks for your mail, yes I want you pretend to be the relative of a dead man so we can take his $40m fortune, he release every particulars to me, and gave me go ahead and told me that  I need a second party that will join hand with me that’s why I need a fellow citizen.

One more question before we get into this deal:

Dear Doctor Ricky,
Don't you think it is dishonest for me to be someone that I am not?

UPDATE: By the way, if you're into the subculture of Nigerian Spam emails, you may enjoy this site which hundreds of bizarre real-life exchanges between scammers and their "victims" (who were wise to the scam all along).

UPDATE: Dr Ricky just replied:


Why the delay, this is once more Doctor Ricky Mazzeo, your fellow citizen, am writing in reminder of your last mail, about the claim of the Diamond in WORLD BANK

Please get back to me, because I have already committed my self to the world bank,


Doctor Ricky Mazzeo

So I decided to be really cheesed off at his obvious lack of interest in me:

Dear Dr Ricky,
The only DELAY is from YOUR END!
I emailed you SEVERAL DAYS AGO asking the question: "Don't you think it is dishonest for me to pretend that I am someone I'm not?" but I got NO REPLY from you!
Not only that, but judging from the tone of your email (below), it APPEARS that you have forgotten MY NAME and are now resorting to call me by the eponymous term "BROTHER".
You can either answer my question or there will be all HELL TO PAY!
How dare you!

Undoubtedly he'll apologise. I wonder if he'll be able to find my name as he sorts through his massive sent email box.

UPDATE: Yes, he found my name!

Am really sorry for the delay, I hard some little problem with my mail box that’s why I was not able to reply your mails,


Yes I still remember your name (Mr A J Finkypoo ), Sorry its not dishonest, because late Mr. Terry Morgan, gave me every info I need for the claim, and he told me that, the World Bank asset department  will believe me if I look for a second party, because they already know me as a doctors whom treats him


Every thing here is legal and real, its just a deal between me and you, and nobody must hear/know about it, just go ahead and contact the Cambodia department of asset liability in the name of Mr. James Walter, what where info he needs from you I will stand on your behalf,

Then he continued by repeating details as to how to contact Mr Walter... I wrote back saying I was not happy pretending to be someone else, and his reply:

Sir. I understand how you feel, and i feel the same way you feel, but if we leave this  asset to the bank they will be the one to gain.

I took care of late Mr. Terry Morgan before is death he discose all his secret to me,  i am 100% sure of every thing i am saying, 

lets do it this way. send me your

Then he continued by repeating details as to how to contact Mr Walter... Then, a few days later, I oddly enough received the very same "original letter" from Dr Ricky introducing himself and propoosing our little business arrangement.

Dear Dr Ricky,
I have just this morning received this email from you.
Is it not the same email I received from you two weeks ago?
Have you forgotten my name already and reverted to calling me "Friend"?
Or, as it comes from fjfred7 on your behalf, do you have other people send these emails out to people all over the world?
What are you trying to do???
I thought you had written to me and we were progressing but now it appears that this may be some kind of internet scam?
Surely I must be wrong, or am I, or am I not?
How well do you play golf?
A J Finkypoo
Dr Ricky realised he was caught out and replied immediately... but with an email with the text all in black, but with my name very obviously inserted in blue.
Hello Friend and Brother  A J Finkypoo,
Thanks for your mail and your responds, yes i was the one that sent you all the mails with different email IDs, reasons as follows

Since the Death of Mr. Terry Morgan, his friend whom cam visiting when Mr. Terry Morgan was alive, as being a pain on my neck, he has threaten me alot and even made me to lose my email address, he has high-jack my email other email IDs, since then then i longer operate with them.

The problem on grand now is that, late Mr. Terry Morgan friend, swear that over his dead body will i claim the diamond.

Thats why i contacted you, because if this man ever claims the diamond, i lose and he gains, his problem is that Mr. Terry did not disclose any of his secret to his friend, rather he trusted me and told me every thing i need to know,

that why i have change my email ID. i want your understanding, if this man ever come encounter with Mr. James Walter, we lose every thing,

Please what ever you are doing make it snappy, as we dont have any single time to waste. take a look at our fellow citizen, you will find so-many job-less, some labour  in-vain, i want us to team-up becuase we need to establish somehting that generation to generation our names will always be-knowen

Sorry for all the stress, nothing good comes so easily
Thanks and God Bless you
Doctor Ricky Mazzeo
Then I realised I'd made a mistake too, all the emails came from the same address, yet he was willing to spin a story about Terry's friend hijacking his email address???
My mistake,
that other email came from the same email address you've been using all along.  fjfred7@gmail.com
But NOW you are using a different email address...  mazzeo45@live.com
AND in the most recent email, below, it appears you have merely cut and pasted my name into a standard email you send to other people as well.
I think the best thing for you to do is to jump on a plane and come visit me. Bring with you, in cash, $300,000 AUSTRALIAN currency with non-sequential serial numbers, and an affadavit stating exactly who you are and why you are assuming the name Ricky Mazzeo and have a fake drivers license with a street address that someone else lives at and a photo that doesn't look like you.
Then we can get down to some serious business.
PS: It's business time!
That was Monday, and to be honest, if he hasn't given up by now he's crazier than I am!

Tourism scams covered on air

Two weeks ago Nicholas J Johnson (Australia's Honest Conman) responded to callers on his regular ABC radio segment asking about Tourism Voucher scams.

You can read his tips to avoid being ripped of HERE

As you know, this has been a regular topic here on this blog. Well, we're not the only blog to be talking about them. This blog talked about ongoing telemarketing harrassment by FREEDOM ESCAPES, and got 77 comments with readers sharing their experiences. I especially like this chap's initiative:

"Hi guys
This still smells bad to me. I rang the two hotels in Noosa that was on their list. Both of them denied any knowledge of voucher or deals for freedom escape and alerted management that this scam ncluded their hotel. Reception and on site management catorgorically denied any knowledge of vouchers that promised free acoomodation if you bought meals from their restaurants. The one hotel laughed because they didnt have a restaurant attached to their hotel. The management of these two hotels are taking this scam seriously and strongly advised me not to give freedom escapes any money."


Take a look at this great page set up by SCAMNET in WA for some very sound advice.