Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Who do I know in Granada?

I'm pretty careful when our cell phone bill comes.
I always look it over to make sure Marc hasn't gone over our minutes or our gigabytes for data or done anything expensive.
So when we got a bill awhile ago that included $8 and something cents for call to Canada, I quizzed him immediately.
Unfortunately for me, fortunately for Marc, the call turned out to be from my phone and ultimately it was my fault for calling to interview a guy whose business is in Canada.
I remember being a bit irate that I had no way of knowing I was calling a foreign country and thus no way of seeing the bill coming my way.
This time, the funny charge was for $1.69 for an international mobile call — again on my phone, not Marc's.
I racked my brain and couldn't come up with any story or interview I had done that would put me in another country.
Marc looked it up for me and found it was for a call to Granada on New Year's Day.
Now why I would be calling anyone on New Year's Day I couldn't imagine.
Sometimes I call my brothers who both travel all over the world for their work but usually there are no odd and expensive charges that come with those calls.
I looked hard at the number.
It seemed vaguely familiar....
I thought back to New Year's and I remembered getting a call that sounded like a 2-year-old in distress trying to talk to me.
Now, as a grandma of several dozen grandchildren, those kinds of calls aren't really unusual. Sometimes they're just calling to tell me about a potty training success. Sometimes they just want to come to grandma's.
But this one, I couldn't get anybody to respond and so after I tried for a minute and failed, I hung up.
Later I saw a news story about a cell phone scam going around where somebody would call and if you picked up, it sounded like a child in distress on the line. They would then hit you with a $25 charge.
I checked the number I had in my cell phone memory. It was the same as the one in the scam.
"Yes, there it is," Marc exclaimed after he pulled it up. "Is this the number?"
Verizon was very nice about it. They're taking off the charge and they said they appreciated the notice. The FBI is also interested in my experience. Thousands of people were as foolish as me.
They did recommend I not answer any phone calls in the future from numbers I don't recognize.
So if you call and I don't pick up, leave a voice mail. If you are not calling from Granada, I'll call you back.

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