Or Optus, or the Australian Taxation Office, or the Federal Police. And the Indian person on the other end of the scratchy phone line is named Mary Smith.
If she said she was ringing from Icelandtel or the Icelandic Taxation Department or the Icelandic Police her name would probably be be Mary Svensdottir. The phone line and the accent would be the same.
The Subcontinental Round is starting again. 4 so far this afternoon. You lucky bastards at work are missing out – come be retired and talk to Bombay.
My wife says that her late mother used to get the Indian scam calls all the time and was nervous and frightened by them – she was in her 90’s and had little computer experience. Fortunately we are an IT family and could soothe her but there must be thousands of elderly folk who are badgered – and some who fall prey to them.
It set me wondering what my own parents would have been like had they lived into our scam age. My mother was raised in New Mexico and Texas and had little time for subcontinentals at the best of times. She also passed her life in construction camps and mining towns and was not afraid to discuss things on an extremely basic level when required.
My father – long gone – would have had a ball with them. I think he would have pulled up a chair, reached for the popcorn and an big orange drink, and then attempted to drive the scam artist mad. He was bad enough with Mormons at the door and my mother had to shoo them away before he got fairly started. No bad words from him, but he did have a habit of making people tie themselves up when they started to sell doctrine or junk bonds. He just put his finger in there every now and then to make sure the knots were good and tight…
I find the best way to respond is with friendly politeness and a grasp of the topic that is 270º away from what is on the script. Today I debated the advisability of changing the .50 cal machine guns for a 37mm autocannon. I was worried where the shells would be ejected to. The Indian woman assured me that Telstra would make it work perfectly.
I’m skeptical. Those empty cartridge cases are quite bulky. And hot.