A scary scam robocall at that, if one were vulnerable to such things. The 855-204-9431 number was unfamiliar. The phone harassment tone and content of the deep, ultra-serious male voice intrigued me; I listened to the pitch from beginning to end before I started laughing.
Not that it was really all that funny. The message was clearly designed to be intimidating, especially to folks uncomfortable with the idea of dealing with the law, lawsuits, process servers, and other such goodies. Here is the message, as exact as memory will allow.
“This is Daniel Jones. My firm has received a complaint and will be serving papers at your home or place of business. Please call 855-204-9431 immediately.”
Or words to that effect. I might not have that last name precisely correct, but it was definitely J-something. The man’s tone was almost a “Daddy voice,” designed to force compliance from the fearful in a knee jerk reaction before the victim could step back and think things through rationally. It seems likely this heavy handed approach does work on the meek who shall inherit the Earth, but who may well be taken for everything they own in the meantime.
Analysis of the call revealed a number of things under a harsh, glaring spotlight, to wit:
Strike one: The robocall did not identify me. He could have been talking to the Shah of Iran for all he knew. (Not that robocalls “know” anything.)
Strike two: Ol’ Daniel did not identify “his firm” at all, which any legitimate attorney would do. Since he was so “up front” about serving papers, he would likely have identified “his firm” even if he was a process server.
Strike three: The call’s reference to having “received a complaint” would imply that the listener was running a business, or was at least in some form of frequent contact with the public…which I am not, unless you count the wait staff at my favorite restaurant or the checkout clerks at Walmart.
Strike three and you’re out…but there’s more.
Strike four: Searching Google for “855 scam numbers” turns up several websites dealing with scammers. Not 855-204-9431 specifically (at least that I could find today, February 8, 2017), but several other 855-204- numbers. The messages vary, but they have one thing in common: None of them make sense. One site runs a thread where recipients of these calls report hearing that the scammer was “trying to fax some documents,” for instance.
And one company employee, after receiving nine of these calls, called the number and told whoever answered to knock it off or they would be turned in to the authorities–after which a woman called him back and (his words), “…literally chewed me a new one.”
I’m sure he didn’t literally mean literally. That would be gross. But you get the point.
Having done my due diligence aka FSR (Four Strike Research), I called my wife–who is spending time with her daughter in another state at the moment–to let her know about the call. Didn’t want her getting caught off guard. Not that she would have; her understanding of and resistance to scammers is pretty strong.
Now, if the scammers behind this 855-204-9431 number would like to call, or perhaps leave blistering comments on this page, or take any other form of action designed to intimidate and destroy…yeah, good luck with that. I live for this sort of thing. We’re talking about a fellow (me) who, backing up a neighbor some years ago, went to court and got a rich kid reckless driver convicted…without using an attorney. I’ve also been sued for big bucks and stuffed the suit right back in the ambulance chaser’s face. I love the courtroom. There’s no way to apply pressure to try to get my website shut down because I own the site. Ugly comments are as easy to handle as hitting the Delete button. Even physical threats merely ramp up my interest, pop a little adrenaline, and get me ready to rock and roll.
So have fun, y’all.
As for our non-hostile readers (hopefully the majority), please feel free to comment all you like. Beyond that, if you happen to have received one of these 855-204- calls, either from 855-204-9431 or from another 855-204- number, we’d love to hear about it.
In closing, let’s start a brand new 855-204- listing for numbers known through personal experience to us and/or our readers as a scammer’s hangout, starting with:
855-204-9431……”Threatening” call received by Ghost on 02/08/2017.
855-205-2532……”Threatening” call received by Ghost on 02/13/2017.
UPDATE: February 13, 2017.
As you can see from the second number posted above, the plot continues to thicken. Got a call from 855-205-2532 at 11:36 a.m. on February 13 from “Peter Murdock.” Same scam message, same male voice cutting the recorded message. Will post this same update in the main body of the text (above) and add that number to the list. It looks like the scammers have “worn out their welcome” with the 204 prefix and are now working through the 205 prefix numbers.