Here in Australia we are just a phone call away from India. And in the case of our house that phone call is at 4:05 every afternoon.
The amazing part is that it is a different caller each time – apart from the silent ones or the hissers – and there is a slightly different pitch thrown with every one.
Today’s was the ” NBN “- supposedly our developing national Broadband Network. It’s an ongoing fustercluck from both the federal government and a private quasi-corporation who pretend it is going to replace wires with optical cables and then up the speed of our internet connections. If it promised to connect us to unicorns and Judge Crater I would give it some serious credence, but as it is…
Now the Indian scammers have picked up on it and are ringing with either threats or promises to get us to allow malware to be installed in our computers. Today’s question revolved around technical work that was going on and what download speed we had. I suspect it was a complex shell game to allow some sort of ” test ” that would install a spyware program looking for passwords.
When the confused girl asked what speed we were experiencing I told her that we generally got about 350 MPH but this fell to 320 with drop tanks. Full throttle and water injection could up it to 385 but if you ran the computer too long at this setting the exhaust manifold would burn away. I was dead serious about this.
I’m not sure I cleared up her confusion.
It’s a sell, Mel.
It’s a scam, Pam. Oops, sorry, I should have said ” it’s a scamela, Pamela “. Didn’t mean to be overly familiar.
That great business opportunity that you discovered with the other seminar delegates at the holiday resort? That guaranteed opportunity of a lifetime? That golden road to riches, health, and moral re-invigoration? That weekend and an extra day high on marketing?
It’s a con, Don.
Don’t feel bad that you responded as you did. The whole event was structured to make you do so – it was developed as a way to envelope you in a message and to never let you see outside of that indoctrination. You would have had to dive through a window and run away as fast as you could – abandoning dignity, luggage, and any sense of personal worth – to escape it. If they had you on a cruise ship, even that avenue of escape would have been denied.
Whatever money you have given over to the organisers is gone. It will never come back to you. Abandon it to them but do not give them any more – even if they say that you are obliged to do so. Ignore their threats – none of those threateners could stand in front of a magistrate and neither can their demands. Shred anything that you have of their literature and dump it in the compost bin – you may get some value in a few months if it packs down and rots.
Take heart – you have had a valuable lesson. One you need not repeat, but one that you are honour-bound not to inflict upon others. You may not defeat confidence tricksters by yourself, but you must not strengthen their hand by inadvertently joining them.
a. Invest in a scanner, computer, and printer. Scan your local currency and print the resulting files with the printer. Glue the front and back of the bills together. Scrunch up the result.
When you try to pass this counterfeit money do not be surprised if you are detained by the police and jailed for the crime. Or get away with it for years. It all depends on the people you shop with.
b. Sell people courses in how to sell courses.
This is the ” daisy chain ” theory of economic success. If you do not understand what a daisy chain is, you are a better person than I.
c. Threaten to expose people’s seamy history unless they give you money.
If they actually do have a seamy past, this is called blackmail and like ( a. ) above, will eventually lead to jail time. If they don’t, you just make one up and publish it anyway. This is known as investigative journalism and earns big bucks from tabloids.
d. Sell a food. Well, actually just sell the idea of a food. What you are selling need not actually be edible or nutritious or even safe. Let’s face it, you can serve nuclear waste dipped in weed killer to the right market – my local kebab shop does a big trade Friday night.
But if you are selling on-line you need something that can be shipped without leaking. Dried food powder is a good choice, and you can dry and shred gerbil droppings on a very economical basis. Then all you need is a slogan and a website.
e. Become mystical. Mystics can sell things for $ 39.95 like crystals, books, and healing incantations. Why people fall for this is a mystery, but as long as they are willing to act as cash cows, you just keep pulling the teats.
How could I be happy if nothing happened? Where was the joy in that?
a. I was not being bombed or shelled by anyone. No-one hates me enough to bother with the ordnance, let alone the targeting.
b. Nothing broke. Neither the legs nor the washing machine nor the car nor the airbrush.
c. No-one stole anything from me or my house.
d. No-one sent me a bill.
e. The Facebook pests that perpetually swing their little axes in my face had other things on their minds.
f. I was not on the Freeway for morning nor afternoon rush hour. So none of the sirens were for me.
g. The cat did not put a dead rat on the doorstep.
h. I did not lose another pair of panties to the elastic monster.
This was a day full of the noticeable absence of stressful excitement. It left space for food and drink, hobby work, and writing. I would like to achieve an entire week of this boredom some day.
My own fault.
I knew as I poked the iPad screen that I was doing the wrong thing. But I had a half hour to spare while the rest of the family got ready to go out ( My dad once got to read War And Peace while waiting for my mother to get ready…) so I looked at a video that purported to explain the Philadelphia Experiment. A supposed experiment to make a destroyer disappear in Philadelphia Navy Yard.
It was eery, and ooey, and it was only when I noticed that the video footage seemed to be of French naval workshops and German torpedo boat destroyers that I realised that it was a melange of merde. I had read a suitably vague and corny paperback about the subject years ago – and got nothing out of it – but I didn’t realise that YouTube allowed people to make such rubbish in such spectacular form.
I always hesitate to use the term ” Fake News ” as my cousin, Donald Trump, seems to have gotten himself into a lot of hot water by using it so often. And this Philadelphia nonsense is not news anyway – not if it has spawned cheap paperback novels. My cousin, Barack Obama, once visited Philadelphia. I think he called on my other cousin George Wallace…for political advice.
He could have asked me. But I don’t want to insult your intelligence with that…
For the record: The heading image is not an American destroyer in Philadelphia Navy Yard.
A short introduction to the steam room.
a. When you ring someone, do not say anything for about 6 seconds.
b. Then cut in a background tape of the inside of a Bangladeshi underwear factory.
c. Announce that your name is Wayne O’Grady, or Anders Andreasson, or John Johnson. These are perfectly plausible to go with your heavy subcontinental accent. Avoid the use of the name Peter Sellers…
d. Say that you are from the technical division of Elfrubdhethic Solutions. If they ask you to repeat that say that you are from the technical division of Rathvictichoxz Corporation. You can cough while you do this.
e. Tell them that you have been monitoring their computer and that they have downloaded some viruses. Or solar cells for the roof. Tell them they have downloaded solar cells.
f. Tell them to go to the computer and turn it on. If you are feeling randy you can tell them to turn you on.
g. If they refuse to go to the computer threaten to have them arrested unless they buy iTunes cards. If they ask why, tell them that you will have them deported. If they still refuse tell them that you will be arriving on a sinking rowboat along with your 34 needy relatives and that you know where they live. If that doesn’t shift them, nothing will…
h. The timing of the call is all-important. Australians eat dinner at 6:00 PM. Make your call at 5:57 PM. Every day. For a month.
i. Never use the phrases ” Golly Gosh ” or ” Goodness Gracious Me “. Don’t ask why, just avoid them.
j. And the most important thing. Make your calls from an Australian mobile phone or land line phone that can be traced. It’s no good doing all this fine work and not getting credit for it.
a. Help me to understand the difference between the police speed camera monitors and William Bonney with a pistol. They both want money. They both present themselves in your face. They both threaten you. You pay up.
b. Help me to understand why they have two words for the same things; offal and awful.
c. Help me to understand why social media makes a two-day report of a man slipping on a fried onion in a Bunnings car park and the decision to put the fried onions under the sausage in the future. Could it be that social media is irrelevant nonsense? Say it ain’t so, Joe…!
d. Help me to understand why motion picture actors and stage singers – trained to mimic emotions and mouth prepared speeches – are considered to be ingenuous gurus of political thought. It appears that honesty and integrity can be extruded and cut off in foot lengths…
e. Help me to understand how taking a picture of a politician eating anything advances any cause whatsoever – whether for or against the person pictured.
f. Help me to understand why people allow themselves to be persuaded to give money to telephone scammers when the knowledge of this sort of crime is now so widespread. We have passed by the Nigerian letter scams and the African fortune scams – surely we can advance past the Indian scams.
g. Help me to understand why new cars are not offered with colourful paint jobs. Blue, green, yellow, orange, and all shades in between are available in paint at the same price as white, black, and grey. Who desaturated the world?
h. Help me understand why the idea of ” European ” is sold as better than anyone else’s culture. Is it because they made better wars in the 19th and 20th centuries? Or do they just have better propaganda machines?
i. Help me understand why I must bag and check out my own groceries while 10 checkout lines are not staffed. Am I to be offered a discount based upon the wages saved? ( I know the answer to that one and it is ” no “.)
j. Help me to understand why all the accents that singing stars emulate come from below the Mason-Dixon line…even if the singers are from north of Watford Gap.