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November 2, 2004

An interesting phonecall
Posted by Teresa at 04:56 PM * 72 comments

I was in the basement when the phone rang in the upstairs living room, so I was already a tad irritable when I took the call. My temper wasn’t improved by dead air on the line; but then a man came on, identified himself as Sylvester, and asked to speak to Patrick. I asked what the call was about.

He said he was calling from the National Grants Association, and wanted to advise Patrick that he was eligible for a $5,000 grant from the government. “What for?” I asked him. For anything, he explained; Patrick had paid lots of taxes, and now the government was offering to give some of it back to stimulate the economy.

“My goodness,” I said; “what number are you calling from? And what’s the name of your supervisor?” Sylvester tried to explain that the supervisor was busy, and that if I had questions he might be able to answer them himself; but he was hampered by having me talk over the top of him as I explained that I’m legally entitled to ask.

A few moments later another man came on the line, and identified himself as Reeve Lawson, Verification Officer of the National Grants Association. Maybe he really was named Reeve, and the first guy really was named Sylvester, but I’m under the impression that those are uncommon names on the Indian subcontinent, which was where both men’s accents hailed from.

Because I insisted, he gave me their phone number: 1-800-474-6185. So far, I haven’t been able to get it to work.

Reeve Lawson explained to me that we’d be receiving our grant paperwork in seven to ten days. All we had to do was sign the paperwork and return it along with a one-time filing fee of $249.95, and we’d get our non-repayable $5,000 grant.

“That’s very interesting,” I said cheerfully. “That grant doesn’t exist, anyone who pays you $250 will never see their money again, you are running a scam, and I’m going to report you to the Attorney General of the State of New York.”

Mr. Lawson rang off.

Is there any point in trying to report this? If so, to whom?

Comments on An interesting phonecall:
#1 ::: Daniel Martin ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 05:14 PM:

Do you have caller ID? If so, what did it say? If not, is it too late to *69 them?

#2 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 05:30 PM:

Teresa, check out Government Grant Association ripoff.

It appears that this has been going on for a short while. The "Ralph Hudson" in this report sounds a bit like the "Sylvester" in your account. They are probably changing the name a bit to throw off Google. Unfortunately they used the same fake phone number twice. I suggest starting with the local district attorney or consumer protection agency.

And no, I have no idea how legitimate ripoffreport.com is either.

#3 ::: James Angove ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 05:57 PM:

Hey, good job! You got way more out of them than I did. I got the same call some days ago (last friday, I think). I wish I could recall if it was the same name that you got. Same sub-contininent, though.

#4 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 06:32 PM:

"What number are you calling from?"

A booth in the Midwest. The Midwest of what, I'm not prepared to say. But your rust will be in the mail as soon as your diamonds arrive here.

#5 ::: David Moles ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 06:51 PM:

Elliot Spitzer might actually go after 'em, if he has some spare time. Worth a try.

#6 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 07:14 PM:

Well, they may not be able to be tracked down from what you've got, from the sound. But at some point, someone's going to get taken and then report it, which may lead authorities to them, and at the very least your report will be evidence that they've *been* doing this.

(I speak from no more personal knowledge than reading the consumer affairs division's press releases when they come across office e-mail.)

#7 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 07:18 PM:

Next time that happens, sound REALLY INTERESTED, then say "oh, excuse me a moment," and stage whisper -- away from the reciever, but loud enough for them to hear:

"We've got them! Start the trace and alert the extraction team!"

#8 ::: Katrina Gerhard ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 08:51 PM:

Ooo, these guys sound ripe for the "scam the scammer" technique used by that very creative gent in the UK, who actually got one of those "Nigerian prince" scammers to send him money. ::grin::

#9 ::: Q. Pheevr ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 09:48 PM:

Well, if you were in Canada, I'd suggest PhoneBusters, but I don't know if there's anything comparable in the States.

#10 ::: Sidra Vitale ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 11:33 PM:

Better Business Bureau. Though, the last time I called them investigating/reporting someone, the chap I spoke to said my best bet was to file complaints with the BBB in the state of incorporation/license for that company. Not that it hurts to file a complaint in whatever state I was in receiving the call as a 'mark'.

This is a long shot, but heck, I'll ask one of my law professors if he has any thoughts on how to trace the organization. I mean, other than Google.

#11 ::: Brenda Kalt ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:01 AM:

Word association:

Each name the scammers used is part of a movie star's name--Sylvester (Stallone), Reeve (Christopher) Lawson, Ralph Hudson (Rock Hudson).

(Oops. I apologize if this comes through multiple times. I'm not really trying to shut your site down.)

#12 ::: Guy Matthews ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 08:12 AM:

"Ooo, these guys sound ripe for the "scam the scammer" technique used by that very creative gent in the UK, who actually got one of those "Nigerian prince" scammers to send him money."

That'll be a reference to Shiver Metimbers from 419eater.com, a good man, and I highly recommend the site for some light entertainment and useful information on 419 scams and their spinoffs.

"Better Business Bureau. Though, the last time I called them investigating/reporting someone, the chap I spoke to said my best bet was to file complaints with the BBB in the state of incorporation/license for that company. Not that it hurts to file a complaint in whatever state I was in receiving the call as a 'mark'."

The Better Business Bureau deals with unethical and unlawful practices undertaken by properly registered business entities that actually exist. These calls originate from small teams of criminals (both independant and part of organized crime) trying to con money out of people, they do not originate from any kind of real business. As such the BBB has neither jurisdiction nor even the ability to identify or contact the individuals in question. They're fobbing you off by telling you to call a BBB bureau you can't possibly identify (no idea where in the US, if at all, the call originated), because they don't want to deal with this type of issue.

Consumer protection agencies may be interested in knowing about these incidents so as to improve the quality of information they offer the public regarding scams, they are not however qualified to take any kind of action insofar as investigating or aprehending the people responsible goes.

Your local DA and the FBI are good places to start with a complaint. Local police won't be interested unless you have reason to believe a particular scam is physically operating out of their jurisdiction.

Brenda's analysis regarding famous names is accurate, that's a very common tactic amongst foreign nationals unfamiliar with local names and trying to sound as though they're from the right country.

#13 ::: Miki ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 05:26 PM:

I'd file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, if you haven't already -- http://www.ftc.gov/ and click on "File a Complaint".

#14 ::: Peg. ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 10:55 PM:

You know it's a scam already, but I write grant applications for a living (mostly scientific), and there is never ever a filing fee with a federal agency. Also, the grant (as opposed to contract) arms almost never go looking for people to give money to out of the blue. There are plenty of us begging for bucks for worthy research and educational purposes.

#15 ::: Peg. ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 10:56 PM:

You know it's a scam already, but I write grant applications for a living (mostly scientific), and there is never ever a filing fee with a federal agency. Also, the grant (as opposed to contract) arms almost never go looking for people to give money to out of the blue. There are plenty of us begging for bucks for worthy research and educational purposes.

#16 ::: Peg. ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 10:58 PM:

You know it's a scam already, but I write grant applications for a living (mostly scientific), and there is never ever a filing fee with a federal agency. Also, the grant (as opposed to contract) arms almost never go looking for people to give money to out of the blue. There are plenty of us begging for bucks for worthy research and educational purposes.

#17 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: November 06, 2004, 10:04 PM:

Well, if you care to forward the information, you can send it to 419.fcd@usss.treas.gov

That's the email I have for forwarding all the Nigerian email scams to, when I'm not simply in a hurry and deleting them.

In theory, someone at the treasury is actively working on stings for these idiots, but I doubt there's much of a budget.

#18 ::: Jason ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2004, 11:24 PM:

Remarkably, I just got this very same phone call myself, from (presumably) the very same National Grants Association, though the gentleman I spoke to was named Charles.

I hurried him off the phone because the Gilmore Girls was on, though. Wish I'd had more time for fun...

#19 ::: Mo ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2004, 09:41 PM:

I just received the call! His name was Charles Williams, from the same company (GGA).

When I asked how his company was involved on this and how it profits from the transaction, things starting to come out a little stranger. He didn't mention about a fee, its value, or its purpuse. He quickly said something that might sounded as a fee, but I frankly couldn't understand a word he said. I thought, "this Jacob Williams guy with a heavy thick accent telling they will help me get money for almost nothing , how is this possible?". As soon as he asked for the documentation required, I said, "let me go get my id, checking account, etc, for you sir... wait a moment plz".

I got online and found this forum! Thanks so much for confirming what I was suspecting. I got back on the phone, told him what I've just found online and that even his name was listed, and that I didn't want any biz with him. He hung up right away.

#20 ::: Jfish ::: (view all by) ::: November 15, 2004, 11:20 AM:

If you've got the time and the inclination, play along. Give your address. Get the paperwork. It's just more evidence for the BBB, right?

#21 ::: Harry Connolly ::: (view all by) ::: November 16, 2004, 12:00 AM:

The BBB is worthless.

#22 ::: HAL9002 ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2004, 11:36 PM:

The story goes on, I got a phonecall from the same company, GGA this afternoon. The caller ID showed 866-454-7854. I kept them on the phone for at least 30 min, giving them fake bank account etc. I got three names: Harry Smith (yeah right), John Falcon and Sharon Thomas. Itīs just amazing...

#23 ::: myday2shine ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2004, 01:33 PM:

I just got the very sam phone call. Before checking online, I gave him my bank name and city. I don't know if I am in any danger, can someone help me with that? He doesn't have any other account info on me (I at least am not that stupid).
I am considering reporting it to the FBI, the BBB is totally useless unless it is a legit company (like enron hehe)

#24 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2004, 01:41 PM:

Go ahead and report it to law enforcement. I don't know what to do about your bank; you might ask them what's appropriate.

#25 ::: Seth Breidbart ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2004, 02:07 PM:

If bank name and city were all they needed, they could probably have a 10% success rate by picking names out of the phone book and guessing the largest local bank.

#26 ::: Martin Mears ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2004, 06:50 PM:

My daughter-in-law received one of these calls and a second number was also used. They used 888-870-9313 and 866-454-7854. The cost of a grant was $279.83 for an 8-25 thousand dollar grant. Sounded funny so I asked Google about the numbers and found this web site. One of the numbers is also listed with a bad rep with the BBB (which also lists the company using other business names). I'd be interested to know if anyone has ever received one of these grants.

#27 ::: Seth Breidbart ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2004, 07:01 PM:

I'd be interested to know if anyone has ever received one of these grants.
What grants? There are no grants. They're like the $25 million General Abacha's widow wants your help with.

#28 ::: Doc ::: (view all by) ::: December 20, 2004, 08:56 PM:

I just got off the phone with "Ben" about this. He was pretty defensive with me when I accused him of running a scam and said I could check it out at their website. At one point he told me that GWB (the president) has paid a lot for taxes and the gov't gave him 2.2 million dollars to build a baseball stadium. I informed "Ben" that I wasn't building a baseball stadium, so why would the gov't send me grant money.

It was quite funny there for a while. He ave me a number of 800-474-6185. Check this out....

http://www.thelocalbbb.com/alerts/alerts.html?newsid=523&newstype=1

#29 ::: Doc ::: (view all by) ::: December 20, 2004, 09:02 PM:

Interesting update.

I just called the 800 number that I posted above and "Grant" answered and I had a few choice questions for him.

He didn't really have any answers for:

"How many people have you actually gotten money from?"
"How do you sleep at night?"

And a few others. He wasn't really happy after that last one. ;-) Anyway, the number is working.

Have fun.

#30 ::: Lin ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2005, 04:35 PM:

The informaion about George Bush: "the gov't gave him 2.2 million dollars to build a baseball stadium" came from Matthew Lesko's book "Free Money to Pay Your Bills." I checked the book out of the library, so I personally know it's in there.

These are definately scam artists at work!

#31 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2005, 09:51 PM:

The same people called me tonight 1/27/05.Same phone number 800-474-6185. This time the guy name was Manuel Richardson. Funny name for a mideasterner. He also gave me the address of:
4100 Eastbay Dr. ste B40
Clearwater FLA. 33764
They actually asked for my bank routing #.

#32 ::: none ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2005, 10:10 PM:

I also received a call from Govt Grants and Loans, inc today. I check out the BBB link above. Also, went onto the Florida Secretary of State to search for their Articles of Incorporation and found that the owner's (Husband and Wife) team is named

Crystal Clark (listed director)
James Clark

Of 10820 Hammock Drive, Largo FL

As Well as Gorvernment Grants and Loans, Inc, they own All South Landscaping, Inc and some other defunct companies.

If you've been scammed or they call you (and your on a do not call list) take them to court.

#33 ::: Loma ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2005, 04:53 PM:

I just received the phone call. I spoke to a woman with an Indian accent and then to a gentleman. I asked them about their website: www.25kgrants4you.com. It doesn't exist, they said it will take about two days because they are updating the site. That's when I got suspicious because usually a site under construction will say that it's under construction. I then asked what information they would need from me, they said: all you bank information including the name of the account holder and the account number. I told them I was not interested. They then said they would call me back. I said no, I am not interested, remove my name from your mailing list, do not call me back. He kept on insisting that he would call me back and I kept saying no. Then, he hung up on me. I tried to dial back the number, it does not work. I googled the number and got interesting results that led me to this website.

Man, people will try anything for a buck, huh.

#34 ::: hellojenil ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2005, 05:45 PM:

I just recieved a phone call from 866-454-7854 and no one was there, I googled the number and found this website. It might be a scam, cause I cannot get thru to the phone number. It will ring once, busy signal once and then totally disconnect. Once I even got a message that said all curcuits are busy and to try again later. I am going to keep trying to see what's what and if it is a legitimate number, I will be back to post.

#35 ::: enkrypt3d ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2005, 03:37 PM:

Yea I got a call like this a few months back and unfortunately I gave them my banking info and saw a transaction from "Government Grants" on my acct for $289.95.....and waited about a week for something to show up in the mail and nothing did. So I had my bank reverse the transation. All the phone #'s the bank could find were not working. So I keep getting these calls from various fake named ppl and they keep trying to get another $289.95 from me and I say "I've alraedy paid that to your company and have not received anything from you"...And that seems to go in one ear and out the other b/c they say "Oh but this transaction will not come out of your acct until the $5k is deposited" I'm like yea right... so now that I got my money back from the bank I like to play with them...But I'm guessing I should change my banking acct #?

#36 ::: sonya ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2005, 06:37 PM:

AS of Oct 6th2005 i was scammed well almost with he same incedent. but it smelt fishy deposit of 5,000 today they say i called number and of cource not available so i googled the numnber and whala. i ended up here read a few threads and ran to bank and closed account. HA. i hope they call again this guy said name was dani. transaction # 1100038 I am going to record them next time. if it's to good to be true it usally is.. this is what my friend told me hours before i found out she is right

#37 ::: Gerry ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2005, 01:32 PM:

I just got a call from 866-454-7854, it was missed call on my cell phone. I tried to call abck but it rang twice then disconnected. I've been getting "Indian" calls from 727-471-1413(Clearwater, FL). I wonder if this is the same company. I told them off yesterday because they are calling my cell phone and I'm getting charged minutes. The guy mentioned that he was calling from "The Travel Center" and I recently booked travel arrangments with one of their companies.

#38 ::: lauren ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 01:04 PM:

I keep getting phone calls from the phone number 727-471-1413. Everytime I pick up they would just hang up, and if I let it ring they won't leave a message. Anyone know this number?

#39 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 02:18 PM:

Hey, Lauren: http://junkcalls.nfshost.com/bboard/lofiversion/index.php/t65.html should answer all your questions about that number.

#40 ::: Don Hull ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2005, 09:58 PM:

I was going along with this scam and was considering paying them the $295 for the grant but not until after I received the grant applications. But then they starting asking me for the name of my bank, the routing number and account number and that's when I ended the call. They called back the next day and I told them never to call back.

I also tried calling them back as I had their number from caller id. It rang, seemed to connect for 15 seconds but no sounds, then disconnected.

#41 ::: kevin ::: (view all by) ::: January 18, 2006, 09:38 PM:

got a second call from these idiots after i cussed out the first guy a few weeks prior. John Henry (Idian/Pakistani accent or one of those) called my cell.
Im sure John Henry is a very common name in arab type families!
After toying with him for a bit and acting interested i lost my temper again at the audacity of this scum bag and the fact that some poor saps and old people most asuredly fall for this crap! So i preceded to call him a smelly arab terrorist and when i track him down im going to strap a bomb to him and cut his wifes head off and film it to post on the internet. for somoene reason he proceded to hang up on me... go figure.
I called the FBI and asked if they had a program where i could bait them with a bogus account to track the money they "steal"
tehy basically told me im on my own..

#42 ::: Eddie ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2006, 02:22 PM:

I recieved this call just yesterday and it happened exactly as described. Both gentlmen had Indian accents. Very "pushy." Will not provide info unless we paid something upfront.

#43 ::: Nate ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2006, 02:08 PM:

I got this call last night. All the information checks out the same as the above posters information. Over a span of two years they still haven't been caught or prosecuted. Something is fishy about that.

#44 ::: Thom ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 06:28 PM:

Guess these people are still around because I keep getting hang up calls from them. or at least the number.

#45 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2007, 07:10 PM:

Would like to point out that:

1. callers can easily edit the caller-ID information you see-- caller-ID was never designed to be a locked and secure system. Scammers know this.

2. with VoIP phonecalls- voice over the internet, essentially- one can call from just about anywhere to just about anywhere* for a 1/00th dollar per minute.

Combining 1 and 2, scammers can call you from just about anywhere, looking as if they're someone and somewhere else, for a cent or two.


* Except EU cell phones. Even with VoIP it costs me $.30+/minute to call them. Swearwordy caller-pays when one doesn't know it's a(n) EU mobile.

#46 ::: Jennifer ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2007, 11:48 AM:

I just received at least 4 phone calls this morning before 9:00. When I finally received something other than a dead line the gentleman stated that he was DION from Liberty Wireless and would like to set up my wireless account. I informed him that I was not interested and requested removal from his call list
Same MO as the others however the company has changed.

#47 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2007, 03:23 PM:

I noticed I started getting the calls after using In-Phonic's (Wirefly)website.. I've used their site twice and the calls began right afterward..

#48 ::: Wirefly ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2007, 09:09 PM:

Funny that you mention wirefly because i rcently gave them my information also. Could be connected?

#49 ::: jason ::: (view all by) ::: January 23, 2007, 06:48 PM:

I also received calls from the 1-866-454-7854 number all day long today. We also just signed up for a phone through wirefly a couple of days ago. I have gone to the ftc.gov website and filed a complaint on the dnc list. I think we all should take a stand on this issue and possibly do a class action lawsuit for the harrassment that company has put all of us through.

#50 ::: brandon ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2007, 06:17 PM:

I signed up with Wirefly too, but was told I needed a deposit to get a phone, so I cancelled my order. Since then, I have gotten calls from 1-866-454-7854 and 1-866-454-7853 EVERY day (about 2 weeks). I have at least 20 entries on caller id (some are only 10 minutes apart). I was never home when they called (usually around 3:00 PM Central) but one time they left a message that was just 30 seconds of someone breathing into the phone. I tried to call the numbers back but it just clicked a few times and then gave the operator hang up and try again message.

#51 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2007, 06:30 PM:

IANAL, but I think there might be enough here to interest lawyers in Wirefly, at least at the state level (try harassment and possible fraud). I don't know if the feds would be interested under the current administration.

#52 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2007, 07:06 PM:

Following up on my above comment that caller id was never designed to be secure:

Regardless of whether or not a caller-ID number works, go research the number using whocalled.us. You can also google the number, but whocall.us provides a searchable central database where people can describe how the scammers work.

1. If the number is already there, you can see the scammer's pattern and add your call to it. This provides more evidence that a scam is a scam.

2. If the number isn't yet there, by adding the number to whocall.us's database you'll start the evidence chain, helping everyone else who gets that call in the future.

#53 ::: rob ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 06:32 PM:

this is a wirefly scam. i called them to complain and they hung up on me.ive been called 30 times today.

#54 ::: Chaim ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2007, 02:50 PM:

Same here, getting calls from 8664547854 non stop, also used Wirefly.
Is this the USA or Nigeria for gods sake.

#55 ::: Elise ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2007, 02:24 PM:

These same people have been calling me 5+ times daily, for the last few weeks. It won't stop! The other numbers they have used are: 866-454-7853 and 866-454-7862.

#56 ::: Elise ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2007, 02:28 PM:

Oh, and I also recently interacted with Wirefly. And the calls started immediately after.

#57 ::: Denise ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2007, 04:16 PM:

I too interacted with these idiots and I called back the number and what do you know...MUSIC!!!Thats it...but the worst part and a warning to others, is that they did a credit inquiry on me 4 times in September and one in Dec. and one 2 days ago without my permission. I found out because I had to get my credit report today and in a bit of a cowinkie dink they called.HMMM. So be careful all!!!

#58 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2007, 05:20 PM:

Someplace you can complain - it won't get you anything else, though:

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/cell_phones/wirefly.html

The stories go back nearly two years, and are very consistent: rebates promised but denied, paperwork that goes missing and later turns up, orders that mysteriously get redated.

#59 ::: kdhart ::: (view all by) ::: February 22, 2007, 01:10 PM:

THESE PEOPLE CALL ME BACK TO BACK AND HANG UP ALL DAY. I JUST PUT MY PHONE ON SILENT BUT THEY CONTINUES TO CALL. IF WE CAN SUE THEM E-MAIL ME AND I WANT MY CUT FOR PAIN AND SUFFERING.KDHART@MEMPHIS.EDU

#60 ::: moran ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2007, 05:24 PM:

I too contacted wirefly a week ago.

I started getting so many calls today, it made me want to do a search on the number.

866-454-7854

And I find this page.

Someone who works for wirefly and has access to the numbers and info is probably doing this.

Wirefly made 26 bucks from me and will probably make more. It wouldn't be worth it to wirefly.

This would call for a serious investigation because you would probably have to treat it as if it WAS wirefly - thereby causing them to find out who it is if it turned out to not be wirefly

#61 ::: Eva ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2007, 05:23 PM:

The exact same thing happened to me... I was going to sign up for a phone through wirefly, but due to the high deposit that cingular wanted, I declined the phone & service. However, starting today I've been getting phone calls every 5 minutes from the same 866-454-7854. Every time I answer, they just hang up on me. When I don't answer, they do not leave a voicemail or anything... When I call the number back, it rings once or twice then disconnects...

I did make a complaint with the ftc, but from the sounds of it, I don't think much will come from that. I'm not sure what else to do other than block that # or change my cell phone number. :(

I'm a little scared because of the above post by Denise stating that they pulled her credit numerous times. Phone solicitation or whatever the hell this is can be fixed, but the credit will be quite a bit harder to correct if they do any damage to that... or even worse, if identity theft arises from this...

#62 ::: Eva ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2007, 10:08 PM:

Update: I wrote an email to complain about the phone calls. They said that they were trying to get in touch with me to let me know that I was eligible for phone service through T-mobile - and that's why I was receiving all of those calls...
Either way, to get the calls to stop they say you have to call their service number and cancel the order. (which I thought I had... but they can't do it online??).
Service # is: 888-843-2485

Goodluck to all who encounter the same problem. And since I work for Nationwide Insurance and have my home insured through them, I thought I'd throw this in as well - you can have identity theft added onto your home or renters insurance for $3.75 a month and they will email you any changes to your credit-like inquiries, etc. It's really neat. :)

#63 ::: Scott ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2007, 07:16 PM:

Did what Eva recommended. Haven't had any calls since. The woman I spoke with was definitely from overseas. Thanks, Eva!

#64 ::: Eva ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2007, 07:34 PM:

No problem! Glad to hear that everything worked out for you as well. :)

#65 ::: Eva ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2007, 07:30 PM:

Apparently, it is neverending... I started receiving phone calls from them again today. This time from 866-454-7853. -_- I suppose I'll try their service # again...

#66 ::: Ed ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2007, 03:00 AM:

I signed up for a free Verizon Chocolate phone via InPhonic last week. Got an email the next day asking for a huge deposit and cancelled.

This week, I'm getting multiple calls a day from (866)454-7853. If they want to sell me something or try to scam me, it's really stupid that they don't say anything when I answer. (Maybe automated dialer failing to fetch a human in time?)

I'll try Eva's advice and see if it stops, but I'd love to know how we can identify who InPhonic gave our info to so we can sue them for any damage done to our credit rating.

I'd also just love to nail them for breaking the law and getting away with it.

#67 ::: sherry andrews ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2007, 08:46 PM:

I am getting these calls also. There are 3 or 4 different numbers they are using. I just hit the ignore on my cell and it goes straight to voicemail and of course they don't leave one. I find it very annoying and I won't use my minutes on this crap. There has to something we can do.

#68 ::: Nikki ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 10:22 PM:

I recently got a call from an Unknown Caller. They said that I was randomly chosen to receive a government grant of $3,500 due to me or a member of my family being in debt. All they needed was for me to leave $29.95 in my bank account after the money was deposited the next day. They would take it out. I'm really down on my luck right now and figured it couldn't hurt so I gave them all my information after they put me through the computer voice recorder. I found out that the numbers I have received from them don't work. The numbers are 1-800-581-4726 and 1-866-407-6049. The only number that did check out was the Med thing I was supposed to receive also which the number is 1-877-464-0444 and I called it but no one ever picks up, just music. I'm worried about identity theft and wondered if there is anything I can do before it gets bad.

#69 ::: mcz ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 10:29 PM:

Might be a good idea to call your bank and instruct them to stop all unusual outgoing payments. Follow up with written instructions.

#70 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2007, 10:43 PM:

Also: inform the police, particularly their bunco squad. The more reports they get and can cross-correlate, the better they'll be able to deal with the scam.

#71 ::: Bobby V ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2008, 09:33 PM:

my caller id gives me the number "02" they have been calling me for about a month. sometimes once a day, every other day, twice a day, once a week, day or night! I pick up and no one is there, they hang up. i did speak with someone one time, and it sounds like these guys you speak of. The phone calls are getting old real fast. what the heck do i do?

#72 ::: Bryan J ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2008, 04:48 PM:

I am in California and had the same exact scam that is posted above by Teresa "Interesting Phone Call" happen to me. And they continue to call but they may have made a mistake today, as their area code (a local one by the way)and phone number showed on my cell phone, so i am thinking he may have just forgotten to block his number on the call. I am reporting to FBI Website today also. Another piece of info to point out is when i was on the phone call with them you can not understand any of the people, I had to have them repeat themselves almost every sentence that they muttered out on the phone, as their accents are so heavy.

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