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Hopefully you enjoyed the silence, because the scammers are back

As more places open up in the pandemic, Wendy wishes the scammers were still closed for business
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And they’re back.

They are more horrible than murder hornets. 

They are more annoying that the new Tim Hortons cup lids. 

They are even more frightening than the COVID-19 service fees being tacked onto everything. 

They are the scammers! 

One unexpected benefit from the COVID-19 lockdown was the few brief weeks when even scammers were in lockdown. 

I didn’t realize it for a few weeks, so I missed all that time where I could have been rejoicing, but when so few people could go to work, neither could the call centre crooks. 

Did you notice the phone silence? 

Wasn’t it incredible?

Did you realize you were sleeping uninterrupted by oddly timed calls? 

Remember getting through one meal without being annoyed? 

It truly was glorious. 

However, the scammers and the telemarketers must have been in the Phase 1 opening, because all of a sudden the robocalls returned with a vengeance. 

At least three times day — morning, noon and night — I am advised some computer firm has a refund to send me, but I simply must call back quickly and give them my bank info so I can get my money back. 

Strange. If they already have my billing info, why can’t they just go ahead and refund me the same way? 

The other day, I was informed someone was using my social insurance number for nefarious reasons. It was a very Robert Stack-esque voice (you know, from the Unsolved Mysteries television series) telling me to immediately call back to speak to a federal agent.  

Then there was the very early morning call warning that some unusual purchases had been made on my credit card at 5 a.m. and I needed to call to confirm these were legitimate. Just give up your credit card number and it will all be sorted out. 

This one did concern me a little. 

If this happens to you, just call the number on the back of your credit card and have the company check the activity on your account. They are used to doing it. 

My concern was there had been some questionable purchases made — by me! Since I discovered PayPal, it's been a free-for-all.  I can understand how some might question my purchases of several diamond art kits, jumbo bags of cat kibble, and I Love Lucy lipstick. 

How long until we all start getting calls from the federal government to pay back the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) payments? I almost expect that. Pay it back or face a giant fine and possible arrest. 

I bet jail doesn't have unwanted phone calls.

If those scam calls don’t send you over the edge, how about the continuous political calls? If these people knew how much I distrust and disrespect most politicians right now, they would skip my number.  

Legitimate charity or business callers must have a terrible time ensuring people they are not criminals.

I understand door-to-door sales are returning. I had hoped those were a thing of the past.

If the days of letting strangers into your home weren’t over before, they certainly are now. Or at least should be! 

Now, masked strangers wanting to come inside?   

I watch Netflix, so absolutely never again! 

I have so enjoyed being able to leave my front door open, knowing nobody would be showing up because not a single soul could visit. 

I don’t care how many lanyards or clipboards they have. 

I doubt my 'Go Away' doormat will work on pushy salespeople anyway. 

So, I go back into my hermit life of doors and windows shut and locked. Curtains drawn. Phone calls to voice mail. 

Social distancing did have its perks. 

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About the Author: Wendy King

Wendy King writes about all kinds of things from nutrition to the job search from cats to clowns — anything and everything — from the ridiculous to the sublime. Watch for Wendy's column weekly.
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