Sunday night I signed up for an international long distance service, for
which one pays in advance. It had been recommended, but that was from
someone in a different city, and since they had a trial offer, I tried
They offerred me a free dollar's worth of calls, but wanted my credit
card info, to convince them I really had a credit card (debit card).
They said they would take a very small amount out of my account, and
late sunday night I got an email that a penny had been removed. (I
always get an email if money is spent without my using the actual
I made a couple calls and and although I only got an answering machine
at one and voice mail at the other, I was happy with everything so late
last night I added $5 to my account. I didn't have to give them the
credit card because they already had it.
At 8 this morning I get a call from someone whom I could barely
understand, who said he was from International Calling, or some 2nd
word. This isnt' the company I dealt with, but that one was indeed
about international calling, so I'm thinking just as they buy their
phone minutes from someone else, maybe they have someone else do their
billing. He wanted to know how much money I had spent, the last 4
digits of my SSN, and the expiration date on my credit card. I
considered asking him the amount, but instead I told him, $5 (How can
that hurt me?) and I couldnt' figure out how the other two factoids
could hurt me either, but I wouldnt' tell him. I told him the
expiration date was the same one I filled in when I signed up for the
phone service. (They hadn't asked my SSN or even the last 4 numbers,
and I wouldn't have told them either.) I told him I don't know you,
and I've spent a lot more money on the card than this without anyone
I figured the worst that could happen is I wouldn't have the $5 in my
account and I'd have to rely on the $1. And if that ran out, I'd have
to use Skype, like I have been for 6 months. (Usually phone quality is
excellent, sometimes it's not. I want to go back to using a real phone,
like a person. )
I asked if I could call him back, and he gave me an 800 number. Didn't
give me his name. I googled the number and it is the company I signed
up with 2 nights ago. Is this significant?
Two hours later, I get an email from the bank that my $5 went through.
So was he for real, or a thief? His accent was just the same as the
two who claimed to be from Microsoft. I told one of them that he would
make it so no one trusted people from his country. Of course, he was a
thief so he didnt' care about his country either. (But maybe when he's
old and complaining about the way the US treats his country, whatever it
is, he'll remember that he played a part in that. )
Did they let the charge go through even though he was real and I refused
to cooperate with him, because it was only $5. If so, why did they
bother calling me in the first place? Why not just put the charge
through and see if I complain. And I gave them my phone number (that
way I don't have to enter a pin when I call from my house.). Can't they
verify my phone number with the bank who issued my debit card? Will
the bank do that? Will the bank at least confirm it's my number if a
long distance phone companay tells them a name and phone number and
debit card number and expiration date and the other three numbers, won'
they at least confirm the phone number. So how could it not be me?
And it's not like it's a car, or jewelry. I can't return the phone
calls and get money back, like people do with things they buy on stolen
credit cards ? I can't fence the phone calls to people who want to call
the same numbers I called. I don't remember if he knew my name.
How did he know about my charge with the long distance company so
quickly, if he wasn't real?