What a Week
I've been bought and sold on the "Dark Web". For the second time in my adult life I received a phone call stating I was being taken to court for a debt owed from over 10 years ago. This call wasn't as frightening as the last one, but it was still sounded authentic enough that it made me nervous.
I'm one of those people that can't think on my feet, but I can come up with some comebacks an hour later so instead of being able to discuss this at the time, I simply sat and made nonsense noises. Supposedly this was a debt from about 10 years ago that I didn't pay and so they waited and decided to take it to court now. Ten years ago I was in a good place. Just finished at the prison and started at the school so I was on the state payroll and doing really well, so I couldn't imagine not paying my bills. Plus I didn't remember this particular bill at all and stated this.
This young lady talked circles around me for sure. But in the course of a half hour phone call she dropped the total from $7000 plus to $2000 IF I would put the balance on a credit card. So I asked her to give me two hours to try and find funding and I went nuts. Thank goodness I live in Lusk where they already know I'm crazy because I ended up calling the Sheriff's Department, the Chief of Police, the Court House, a lawyer and anyone else that might have some legal knowledge. They all said the same thing without laughing at me. It's a scam. Block all numbers and don't answer the phone.
I did what they asked me to do and waited for the other shoe to drop. The thing that worried me was she had every number associated with my life, including my social security number so I called the bank, my one credit card and the FTC to report it all. Haven't heard anything else yet, but I now know that they have to mail me a letter and serve me with papers first, then the court will probably make a judgement against me and my credit will take a huge hit. I'm 74 years old and I'm not too worried about my credit so I'm relearning how to breathe.
At least she didn't threaten me with prison which is what the last call did. They choose my age group because we are adamant about paying our bills on time and in full, so more than anything I felt apprehensive that there might be a bill I truly owed. Lesson learned though. Next time, and I'm sure there will be a third time, I won't be taken in by a smooth talker. I will simply hang up the first indication of scamming.
I wanted to share with you in case anyone else in my generation gets one of these calls. Trust me. Hang up. Be rude. Use profanity if it helps and then don't answer again. I'll be better prepared next time. How about you?