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  #1  
Old 12-03-2012, 06:58 PM
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Em_Catz Em_Catz is online now
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Creepy phone call from the "Gas" company

So Mom and I had been hanging out together for a few hours after work when I got a phone from an unfamilar number with a local area. Thinking it was one of the moving companies I've recently contacted, I answered.

The caller has an Indian accent and says he's calling for <insert my first and last name> with Washington Gas & Smart One Energy. I remembered boyfriend saying he had just gotten the gas bill transferred to our new apartment, so I assumed that's what it was about.

When I asked what address was he calling in reference to, he gave my parents address which was an instant red flag because even though I live at home, everything at my parents house is in their name.

I looked at Mom and asked if she had put my name on anything. She said no. I told the caller it was my parents house and I wasn't sure why he was calling. The caller said, "Our records indicate that you are the primary contact for this address and have sole responsibility for the gas bill."

I said, "Your records are incorrect then. It's not my house. Nothing is in my name."

He held the phone then said, "Oh. Okay. Sorry to have disturbed you." and hung up*

No explanation as to why he was calling. No phone call to Mom or Dad who are the account holders.

I googled the company and found the following report: http://www.scamexposure.com/scam-rep...ly-c66879.html

Basically they call people, pretend to be with Washington Gas and get them to switch their natural gas bill over to Smart One Energy LLC.

I was totally freaked out because like I said, I had just talked to my boyfriend about the gas bill and if they had said anything about me relocating or if they had known my Mom's name, we probably would have thought it was our company.

This is seriously why I almost never answer my cell phone unless I recognize the caller.
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  #2  
Old 12-03-2012, 07:19 PM
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Ms. I Ms. I is offline
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Yeah there's always someone out there trying to scam somebody & thinking of a way to catch someone off guard. For the last 6 mos, I've finally had caller ID & I don't answer any calls whose name/# I don't recognize either.
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  #3  
Old 12-03-2012, 07:22 PM
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czacza czacza is offline
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So glad you were careful about screening this call. These type of scammers prey upon the elderly as well. Good that your mom is alert to this now. Call the local BBB.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:33 PM
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Em_Catz Em_Catz is online now
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Ugh, exactly. It just made me feel all skeeved out and kinda violated. I consider myself a pretty intelligent person...the fact that I was almost hoodwinked by a scammer is NOT a good feeling :-(
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  #5  
Old 12-03-2012, 07:37 PM
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Sarge Sarge is offline
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"Our records indicate" followed by any type of question, to which the answer should be an integral part of their "records" is the first tip off to a scam.

I once got a call regarding car warranties - "Our records indicate that your car is about to go out of warranty." Followed by a short pitch on an extended warranty I could purchase.

So I took the bait and said I was interested. The first thing they did was ask for the make and model of my car.

"You tell me," I responded. After all, if they knew it was about to go out of warranty, they must know what kind of car it is, right?

The caller immediately hung up.
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  #6  
Old 12-03-2012, 07:41 PM
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Em_Catz Em_Catz is online now
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I understand cold calling like Sarge's call, but I wonder how do this person get my first & last name, address and know that I use Washington Gas at my residence? Do they just cold call and hope for the best? How did they know I didn't have Pepco or some other company?
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  #7  
Old 12-03-2012, 07:46 PM
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But I did have a car that was about to go out of warranty.
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  #8  
Old 12-03-2012, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarge View Post
But I did have a car that was about to go out of warranty.
ARGH, how do they get this information? So obnoxious
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  #9  
Old 12-03-2012, 09:10 PM
John Lee John Lee is offline
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Be prepared for A LOT more of this kind-of *surprise* marketing. With everyone giving up all kinds of personal information every day, I'm sure they will have (if they don't already) a profile on you that is frighteningly accurate.

People have GPS in their phones, they tag where they are at all times, they swipe their supermarket card (that saves them dough at checkout), which basically tells your shopping abits/patterns, we pay for everything by debit/credit card...
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  #10  
Old 12-03-2012, 09:16 PM
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czacza czacza is offline
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EmCatz...put the phone number at your new apartment on the 'do not call' list.
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