Telemarketer Fun

I hate telemarketers, I really do.

I just received two telemarketer calls within a very short period. One was 6:19PM, and the other was 6:38PM.

The 6:19PM was received at my Skype number.
The 6:38PM was received at my Home distinctive ring number.

The 6:19PM call originated from 206-415-8739.
The 6:38PM call originated from 206-278-9390.

The 6:19PM call left a message telling me that I had been selected as part of their “Jacksonville Area Marketing Study” to attend some scam cruise leaving from Miami.
The 6:38PM call left a message telling me that I had been selected as part of their “Jacksonville Area Marketing Study” to qualify for some scam satellite tv promotion.

Wrong city, wrong state, nice try.

Since I really dislike telemarketers, I think I am going to change my current approach– it could be called the “overwhelm them with legaleeze and shuffle papers while you ‘take down their information’ approach– with a new approach. Maybe we can call it the, “appear like a business who is legitimately interested in their services and string them along as much as humanly possible.”

I can come up with a fake corporate telephone announcement to really get them interested.

It could start something like:

Thank you for calling MikeCo Hotels Executive Office. MikeCo Hotels now provides 28 free cable channels for all guests in the Jacksonville Area. Please hold while we transfer you to the executive secretary. Please note that this call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance.

Then, after a moment of music and a few blips and bleeps, I can answer, recording the call, and see how much of these people’s time I can waste.

I would be the dream sale! A hotel owner who is proud to be offering a crappy 28 cable channels in their rooms, conveniently located in Jacksonville, where they seem to be targeting!

What do you think?

Edit: For anyone interested in listening to the original call (do you enjoy torturing yourself?), you can listen to an MP3 of the message here: http://mikesblog.americasdebate.com/uploads/telemarketer.mp3

445 thoughts on “Telemarketer Fun

  1. I got a call yesterday from a guy with the phone number 708-441-8063 showing up, he said i was one of 50 finalists to win a escalade or 4 other prizes from a entry form i filled out months ago, he asked me a couple questions but never gave me a claim #, said if i won they would call me if not they would send me a letter letting me know i didn’t win, is this a scam or what????

  2. These telemarketers seem to have made it around the US. I am a resident of SC, and received a call on my work number voice mail on Saturday, August 11th. Carmen said that they had really good news for me. I had won a Ford Explorer and needed to call the Awards Claim Center right away, they had been trying to reach me for some time. They provided a claim # HH592 and the call back number was 1-800-918-4224. Caller id said the number originated from 386-538-7515. When I did a reverse look up on whitepages.com for the 800 call back number, it was not found. The caller id number gave me this message:
    (386) 538-7515
    Type: Cell Phone
    Provider: Powertel
    Location: Palatka, FL
    Due to number portability, some numbers have been transferred to a new service provider.

    I’m glad I found this website and did not call them back. This has SCAM written all over it!

  3. I just got a message on my cell phone from 708-441-8067. As mentioned in previous posts, someone form the Awards Claim Center was calling to tell me I won a Cadillac from a sweepstakes I entered last year. The call back number was 1800-779-9962. It sounded almost legit until I googled the number. Thanks!

  4. “Carmen” called me too! Guess I shouldn’t feel so special. She called my vontage N.C. State side number, you see I live in England right now and have for the past 2 years so there is no way that I am entered in any US drawings or give-a-ways. Hope I never meet Carman when I go back to the state ’cause she might get punched in the face. How are stupid American telemarketers going to follow me all the way to England, believe me they have plenty over here wanting you to give 5 pounds “to save a donkey”.

  5. Carmen poked me today at work :(

    Sept. 13th, 2007 at around 3:40pm PDT. Wasn’t away from my desk when she called. Callback number was: 1-800-914-4224

  6. found a voice message on my work phone Sept 17th from a “Mandy” from Awards Claim Center –
    Ford Explorer or 25k cash, has some ‘good news for me’ and to call 1-800-918-4224 as they have been trying to reach me (never got a vm from them b4) and this was their ‘final’ call.

  7. Just got a message from Jason Lee 866-487-3280. Caddy, cash, trip, TV, blah, blah. Well I enter silly contests online – so….I called. The guy was really confused, but I’d called HIM right?!? So, I listened and realized what it was, but decided, since I live in Daytona Beach, I’d goto their office and see. I’m glad that I read the blog.

    I’m worried tho – everyone that says they are going to a presentation and will report back hasn’t…have they all conformed into Carmens? LOL…Wish me the strength to say NO WAY!!!

  8. “Carmen” called me on my Nextel Cell twice this week with different “Confirmation” numbers so I must have won (2) Explorers and $50K! Seriously, though, I get so many calls from A-Hole Companies like this I never call back without googling the numbers. Thanks to Mike for keeping a blog like this going so it’s easier (and cheaper) than the reverse look-up services.

  9. I got home this evening and recieved the same message on my phone. Carmen, (boy, this chick gets around) told me about my Ford Explorer and had been trying to reach me for some time as well. Thanks for this site. One less sucker born in this world!
    Katherine and Thomas

  10. Ok, I hate to ‘fess up to this but just like everyone else on the blog, I too received a “hey you’ve just won a car” phone call tonight. The number on caller id was 708-983-1969 but they asked me to call Jason Lee (I guess Carmen was fired) at 1-866-487-3280. So I did and he told me that his company, “Price Point Center” had pulled my winning ticket. Then he asked me if I still had the stub from the drawing and when I told him no he offered to give me the claim number on it ITC5800 and told me someone would be in touch with me in 5-6 weeks. Well, after hanging up I googled “Event Planners” here in Washington, DC and when I couldn’t find the company under that name I called “Jason” back and asked for the location of the company (he gave me 2101 Wisconsin Avenue, NW) and when I asked for a website of the company he told me it was under construction…yeah, right. No such luck. I’ve already e-mailed the Washington, DC better business bureau and plan on calling the attorney general’s office tomorrow about this scum. He knew that I was calling back because I sensed this was a scam. I am also on the do not call list.

    Thanks everyone, for confirming my worst fears. At least I didn’t give him any personal information! But I’d like to see these scammers kicked off the streets because I’m willing to be there are a lot of elderly people who are taken advantage of by the Carmen’s and “jason lee’s” of the world.

    thanks for the blog mike!

  11. April Lopez called me and I am jumping for joy! A new car I’m giving her my credit card numbers, bank account numbers, Soc Sec #, Birthday, Shoe Size, IQ, Work Number, Inmate number, Credit Score, Date of Death, Mothers DOB and DOD, Fathers shoe size, dogs age………..

    Think my car will get here fast?

  12. Ah, Mandy! Caller ID said 386-538-7515, she said to call her at 1-800-948-4224.
    The “Awards Claim Center” had been trying to get a hold of me and this was their FINAL call.
    Dang, and I could have used the new Ford Explorer or $25,000 too…

  13. It is such a pain in the b***s. They left me an automated message informing me about the so called “Awards Claim Center” and a brand new Ford Explorer. Never ever call the number 1-800-918-4224. It is just BS!

    Shouldn’t we block these nonsense from propagating??

  14. So, we have all received the call from Carmen, or Jason Lee, or Mandy now—but has nobody called back to have fun with these people? I know someone has enough time and technology to track them down to the physical location and then spoof them. I hope to soon read that “we the people” were able to con-the conners.
    BTW, I only won the Explorer—no CASH for me.

  15. Darn it, I must not be as lucky as you all!
    This afternoon, “Alexis from the Awards Claim Center” called from number 386-538-7515 regarding “our promotion ‘Receive a brand new Ford Explorer or 25,000 cash’”…
    …and get this she has “some great news for me!” if I would only call back at 800-918-4224
    Unfortunately, she said nothing about me actually winning the “brand new ford explorer or 25K”
    I guess someone else got to it first
    But I do wonder if they also give away an “old used ford pinto” at all?

  16. I live in Ga and had a message left by Carmen from the “Awards claim Center”(#386-538-7515) saying that they had been trying to get in contact win me about the Ford Explorer that I had won.
    First of all, seems to me that I would have had to enter the contest in order to win something. Secondly, I knew it was a scam because I don’t drive Fords and would not have entered such a contest. How stupid do these people think that we are. I was given a claim number and asked to call the #1-800-918-4224. Never returned the call.

  17. thanks for the warnings. i have been out of work for 10 months and i was all excited until i read these blogs.

  18. Guardian Communications shut down by F.T.C.

    Posted at Quad City Times

    Telemarketing companies face federal lawsuit

    By Dustin Lemmon
    Thursday, November 08, 2007

    A federal lawsuit has been filed against two telemarketing companies based in Moline that have allegedly violated laws related to the national do-not-call registry and use of automated dialers.

    According to the suit filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office in U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, the companies have abandoned calls, failed to transmit caller identification information and placed calls on behalf of sellers who had not paid National Do Not Call Registry fees.

    The defendants include Guardian Communications, in the 1600 block of 7th Street, United States Voice Broadcasting Inc., in the 1900 block of 7th Street, and Kevin Baker, owner and president of Guardian Communications.

    Efforts to reach the defendants for comment Wednesday were unsuccessful. A phone number for Guardian Enterprises, which has the same address as Guardian Communications, was disconnected.

    The Federal Trade Commission issued a news release Wednesday saying the suit is one of five nationwide filed this week against companies that have violated various telemarketing laws.

    The FTC said a stipulated final order was filed with the suit and the two companies will pay $150,000 to settle the case with a remaining $7.8 million judgment suspended because they’re unable to pay.

    According to the suit, since 2004 the companies through a joint venture have sold a voice message delivery service that can be used to deliver pre-recorded messages to consumers and their answering machines through a service described as “voice broadcasting.”

    The sellers record a message, and the companies use an automated dialer to place calls to a database of telephone numbers either provided by the companies or the seller, the suit states, adding the companies can place up to 20 million phone calls a day.

    The defendants have violated federal laws by “abandoning” or not connecting calls to a live representative within two seconds of the consumer answering the phone, the suit states.

    According to the suit, the defendants have programmed their equipment to either play a recorded message to the person answering the phone or cancel the call after determining that the phone was not answered by an answering machine or voice-mail system.

    “Guardian blasted phone numbers with pre-recorded telemarketing pitches, immediately terminating calls when a live consumer answered,” the FTC said in its news release.

    The companies also violated laws requiring that either the name of the telemarketer or seller be displayed to the consumer’s caller ID service, the suit states, adding the calls would say “Cust Service,” “Services, Inc.,” “Card Services,” “LTR” or “DWC.”

    The suit further claims that the companies since October 2003 have called numerous numbers in various area codes without their sellers having paid an annual fee for access to telephone numbers included in the National Do Not Call Registry.

    The suit claims the defendants could be fined $11,000 for each violation of the FTC Telemarketing Sales Rule. The suit also asks for a court order permanently enjoining the defendants from further violations.

    Dustin Lemmon can be contacted at

    (563) 383-2493 or dlemmon@qctimes.com.

    Thanks to everybody who helped shut down this illegal telemarketer. It took over two years, but stopping 20 million calls a day should allow a few people to enjoy a peaceful dinner. Visit http://www.anti206.blogspot.com to see the history of this fight.

  19. They are back!
    Got a call from “Bill” today saying he was reading over my entry form for the Lincoln Navigator i won, WHOOPEEEEEEEEY !!!
    I would never enter to win any Ford product, i couldn’t afford the repairs or frequent fires they rack up even if it were FREE.
    The caller id was 312-488-1853. Bill said i should call him back at 800-960-0083.
    I have filed yet another complaint with the donotcall.gov line.
    Enjoy your SUV’s everyone.

  20. Well i couldn’t resist.
    I called the number “Bill” left me on my answering machine, 800-960-0083.
    I got a voice mail box for Mia Fox. I left Mia a few messages, one of which i stated that i had just set my old vehicle on fire since her associate Bill had left me a message informing me of the new Navigator i had already won. Strange, i can’t seem to get them to call me back now, oh well, i really was looking forward to speaking with Bill.
    Today i thought i would do a few different searches to see if i could find any more info on the numbers they had left to no avail.
    I then stumbled upon a web site that gives free listings for 800 numbers and links them to other 800 directorys, well that was just too sweet !
    So i gave Mia and Bill some FREE advertising by listing thier 800 line as, Scams R Us.
    I even upped Mia and Bill’s titles to Chief Thieves !
    Now they will get proper recognition when ever someone searches for Rip Off Artists/ Scams or thier 800-960-0083 number.
    I didn’t want the 312-488-1853 line to be lonely so i listed it as thier contact and fax line on thier free ad.
    Lets just hope this brings them the recognition they so deserve now, LMAO.
    Enjoy!

  21. It is amazing. I got one of these calls about winning one of Lincoln Navigator, $2,500 cash, Las Vegas trip, or 32 inch flat panel TV. But this was entirely different because it was from Sharon at 877-423-3715, and she gave me a different claim number, MCG669. So clearly this one must be for real.

    Unlike the decriptions of other CSR’s on this blog, Sharon was really good. Patient, friendly, clear, and professional. Maybe we should have a vote for our favorite CSR.

    I live in Maryland, and someone here posted Maryland state statute prohibiting contests requiring sitting through a sales pitch. So Sharon told me to show up at the Holiday Inn in DC.

    It’s amazing how I entered this contest 18 months ago for Friday Night’s grand opening of “Event Planners” travel agency. They must be great planners to start a contest that far ahead of their grand opening.

    If you get a call from Sharon, tell I said she’s doing a great job. She should be a CSR trainer.

  22. Okay, So yes they are BAck,

    Now they call as the Award Center, but they are under the name Quincy Marketing Center, conveniently located at the 2235 South Woodland Address in Deland, Fl the same address as the : CAMBRIDGE MARKETING & FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC.

    2235 S WOODLAND BLVD
    201
    DELAND FL 32720

    Which only makes me believe that I should pick the $25,000 over the Ford Exploder. (The car is probably stolen !)

    Sorry I couldn’t resist.

    Funny however the I have the number that called me as 434-878-9976. According to wikipedia the 434 area code was created on June 1, 2001 as a split from the 804 area code. It is located in the south central area of the Commonwealth of Virginia. That’s ways away from Deland florida where they claimed to be !

    Anyhow.. I am about to throw the book at them.. The phone book that is !

  23. PS. next time tell them you call from hawaii… or ALASKA, They do not know what to do with those calls.. I had this Little Marketing B.i.t.c.h Squirm…. It’s fun…

  24. Just got a call from a bill that i won a ford explorer. Asked me to call this number.
    1-800-960-0083
    Does anyone know what business this number belongs to?

  25. One of my favorite scumbags is a guy named Richard Salvador aka Richard Dunbar of Great Northwest Advertising (www.penslinger.net). Richard spoofs his caller id using spoofcard.com. Richard served 5 years (was sentenced to 9) for his part in one of the nations largest telemarketing scams in U.S. history. He was targeting and ripping off senior citizens. The FBI sting operation was called “operation disconnect”. Richard routinely threatens to kill people. Customers, competitors, empolyees etc. He likes to record himself doing so. Richard recently put his 14 year old daughter in the hospital. His ex wife and daughter are now in hiding. He uses methamphetamines and steroids. Don’t believe me? Check this out:
    Great Northwest Advertising customer service policy:
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=hvnzXviks3A

    Richard threatening his competition with a bullet to the head:

  26. They called here today and no message as I refuse to have voicemail at home it is pointless to have telemarketer’s leaving info at home.
    But after seeing all of these 426 previous blog reponses I am going to pick-up next time and enjoy the linguistic festival that will send the tlemarketer back into the stone age.
    Plus, I think it would be great if everyone of us called them and sang or recited lyrics from Frank Zappa songs.
    If they are absurd we can become Dadaist anti-telemarketer’s.
    If it becomes a tread it is all becuase of Mike’s Blog.

  27. I got a message from 800-918-4224. Quincy Marketing Claim Center saying they have good news and they’ve been trying to reach me and this is their last attempt. They mentioned something about receiving a Ford Explorer or 25,000 cash. I knew it sounded fishy so I got online, punched in the number and this site came up. Good thing too. I’ve been on the do not call list, but I guess that’s up. I’ll have to reup.

  28. READ THIS – I WENT TO THE TELEMARKETING SALES PRESENTATION.

    My wife and I just attended the Event Planners sales presentation at the Holiday Inn-Georgetown at 2101 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington DC, 20007. Like many of you, I had been given a call saying that I have won a contest (don’t recall entering one) and was guaranteed one of the following 4 prizes if we attended the sales presentation:
    • A Brand New Lincoln Navigator (substitute for $45,000)
    • $2500 in cash to spend anyway you wish
    • 8 day/7 night Florida/Bahama Vacation & Cruise for 2
    • 32” Toshiba Flat-Screen Stereo TV (Retail Value $599)

    After seeing this website, I was cautious. However, I don’t think any of you have actually gone to the presentation. I have been to a couple of other sales presentations and have easily turned down offers, so I figured we would take one for the team and check it out.

    As far as I can tell, the whole thing is legit. We filled out a questionnaire (nothing too personal-mostly about our past and future travel plans) and met with a sales guy. They took us into the main room with several tables and ran through our questionnaire, asking questions about what kind of travel we like and where we’d like to go for the future. They asked us to keep an “open mind” about the presentation.

    Next, a way-too-excited sales guy gave a 60 minute powerpoint presentation; they were selling Gold Crown Resort memberships. There were probably 7 couples in the room. Some of the couples were fired up from the very beginning, and there were a few sales at the end.

    The sales team offered a lifetime Gold Crown Resort membership for the following costs and limitations:
    • A one-time membership fee of $8,995
    • A one-time “documentation” fee of $199
    • Annual dues of $399

    After being a member, you can then book a max of 2 full week vacations at any participating resort for a price of $298-$699 per week. The price depends upon the size of the room and the timing of your booking (peak times being more expensive). The price does not include airfare or tips

    But wait; there was more! They said that for today only, they would knock down the one-time membership fee to $7,995, and the first couple to sign up got their annual dues waived for life. They would also throw in a weeklong all-inclusive resort vacation in Mexico for the first couple that signed up.

    We were just there for the prize, so I quickly said “no” to our sales guy once the one-on-one sales pitch started. For those of you who might consider purchasing the membership, this next part is interesting. After turning the first sales guy down, a second balder and older sales guy (the big daddy, I guess) came to our table and then offered to sell us the membership for $4,995. I felt bad for one of the couples who had already jumped on the offer. Lesson learned: turn them down a couple of times, and they’ll gladly drop the price. I bet you could get them to waive the annual dues for life and throw in the extra free vacation too.

    After saying no a few more times, they gave up. Now, here comes the prize. A lady came over with a whole stack of scratch cards and asked us to pick one. My wife chose one, and we won a free vacation (note: I actually believe that this is the only prize you can win. They are a vacation company, so why would they give you a car or a TV? They want you to go on one of their vacations so that you’ll have a good time and consider signing up later).

    The prize that we won is that we get to choose one of the following:
    • Option 1: 8 days/7 nights Luxury Five Star Condominium- Your choice in one of over 85 worldwide destinations. Also includes a $ 100 gas card.
    • Option 2: 3 nights deluxe hotel accommodations PLUS a 4 day /3 night Carnival or Royal Caribbean Cruise for (2) – All meals and entertainment are included aboard ship.
    • Option 3: 5 days/4 nights luxury accommodations in fabulous Mexico -Choose from Cancun, Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta, or Acapulco. Also includes $50 for a tour or other activity for 2 adults.
    • Option 4: 2 Round trip Airfares Plus 3 days/2 nights deluxe hotel accommodations – Destinations include Orlando, Miami, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas.

    We then go online to activate the vacation. There is a $35 per person activation fee, and we are responsible for all hotel tips, taxes, fuel, surcharges, etc. (she said it’s normally about $125-$150).

    In total, we were out of the presentation in 70 minutes. Not bad for a free vacation! If you get invited to one of these, I recommend going as long as you have a good strong will. And hey, if you decide you like what they’re selling, I’ve given you a good tip for bringing the price down. Hope this helps everyone.