Besieged

To begin with, I’m not going to be talking about the recent, failed, siege of the US Capitol.  The title of my post was chosen long before the attempted coup, so it’s sort of coincidental in terms of what unfolded in Washington, DC before I got around to finishing this post.  No, Trump, and his crew of delusional confederates is a subject for another day, or perhaps even another year, once the historians and psychiatrists get a chance to break it all down.

Humm, I wonder just what in the hell schools are teaching nowadays in terms of history?  I sure know that they no longer teach civics because it’s pretty clear that a lot of folks in this country have absolutely no clue how their government is supposed to work, nor do they have an even basic understanding of the Constitution.  Oh well.

So back-tracking to my original draft:

I’m thrilled that we all made it through another four-year election cycle (the last one brought my career to an end), a runoff election in Georgia, and a Holiday cycle with Thanksgiving and Christmas.  And we’re now fully engaged in the New Year.  Hopefully, every one is well and safe from the virus.  But are we safe from the unscrupulous scammers?  Maybe I should refer to them as viruses as well? 

They sure seem to be infectious. 

I don’t know about you, but after Thanksgiving and before the general election, my cell started ringing every 10 to 15 minutes.  I was deluged with Robo calls.  I’m sure they were election related and it’s not like I needed any persuasion to vote.  And I sure didn’t need anyone telling me how I should vote. 

I simply didn’t answer. 

Then came the text messages.  Without opening them, I could see the first line or two, and they were also about the election.  I could even see that a couple of messages were asking if I’d like to run for some public office – NO THANKS!  And I haven’t figured out how these guys got my cell number in the first place.  I thought those were protected.

All deleted and blocked.

Then the text messages switched to merchandise or other scams. Telling me that the items I ordered were on their way, or that I was in some kind of trouble and needed to “click here,” on the included hyperlink to fix everything.  Of course, I avoided those links like the plague.  Some of the ever-growing mass of messages started referencing Amanda – no clue here.

Do any of you know Amanda?

I checked a few of those originating, and probably spoofed, numbers online and they came up as scammers or telemarketers.  Some of the phone numbers had eleven integers, instead of ten.  If I was going to spoof someone, I’d at least make it look like a valid phone number. 

I will give the callers a tiny bit of credit, the phone calls don’t fire up until after 8:00 am.  So at least they are letting me sleep. 

Phone, text, emails, social media pages, online targeted “friend” invitations and ads started going absolutely crazy with this all reaching a crescendo just days before the New Year.  On Facebook alone I think I received some thirty invitations from “young women” (doubtful) with barely anything on their “Wall” or on their bodies.  Nope, probably not real at all.

And now, this is starting to happen on WordPress.  I’m getting bombarded with new “followers” who are not really people, but instead who are business entities wishing to promote sales.  

WTF is going on? 

Do they really think that all of this annoying noise is going to persuade me to take some action other than blocking them?  Well, they probably aren’t thinking at all.  They just fire up their bots and see what happens.  And here it is, a week into January, and the numbers are beginning to climb again. 

There is no sign of them letting up. 

I kind of wish I had my own bot, or some other technology, where I could get even and overload them with vast quantities of bullshit.  A reverse trolling program that automatically kicked in anytime those electronic stalkers attempted to make contact. 

Now, every story is supposed to have a beginning, a middle, and an end.  But I’ll be damned if I have an ending for this one. The problem is ongoing, it’s getting worse, and there doesn’t seem to be a good way to stop it.

Here’s to hoping that your 2021 leaves your electronic footprint uncluttered from all of the trolls’ bullshit.  One that only brings you soul-expanding messages, joy, and hope.

In Metta

Photo: The Pacific Ocean. The Ocean, of course, is beautiful and it’s eternal swells, waves, and tides are nothing but soothing to the soul. Trolls and bots share the eternal nature of Ocean waves, but are the exact opposite in their unrelenting erosional force designed to trick and coerce all who might be swallowed up in their waters.

23 thoughts on “Besieged”

  1. Greetings Earthwalker! I know all too-well of what you speak of. I personally have endured the same repetitive calls over and over for almost a year now. One, a bogus recorded message warning that my bank account and/or credit cards have just been maxed-out with a recent large withdrawal. And One from a scamming air-duct service, who despite my constant angry hang-ups and at times colorful “Stop F**king calling me” language — still calls almost weekly!

    With research I’ve learned that my phone number was most likely packaged with others and sold to huge caller-factories in Pakistan or India. Using untraceable bounce technology and ever-changing ‘call-from’ numbers — I’m told other than changing my phone number — I’m pretty much screwed! Scam calls are big business in foreign countries. Unfortunately, there are always those who fall prey.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can empathise with this. It’s a similar story here, and “besieged” sums it up nicely, like sharks circling your bank account.

    I’m very careful with my mobile number but it’s still out there now and I’m getting the same scam “scare” calls – and “click here” to sort it out. Like you I dream of an AI bot that can track these people down and plague them with prank calls. I’ve also noticed an up-tick in the bogus followers on the blog, marketeers inviting me to partake of their dubious product/lifestyle advice. Sadly the genuine audience is in decline.

    Another one we get over here is cold callers touting for lawyers saying: “I believe you were involved in an accident recently that wasn’t your fault.” Maybe one day I’ll say yes, having first worked up a convoluted script that’ll tie them in knots for hours – but I’d have to be really bored to do that.

    Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For me, I started to be irritated by those calls and my reply (and my state therefore) was not great. So now, if I’ve picked up (the land-line) I play. I explain to the caller that I’m soooo grateful they called as I really need to talk to someone!! I need help with my feet or knees or teeth and “Gosh, have you called to help me feel better?” I put on a really weird and cranky voice and that makes me laugh and makes the whole experience feel more fun. And they put the phone down rather than me!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It does seem to be a spammer’s paradise out there. I have to go into my comment section here on WP and delete on average 150-400 LONG spam emails originating from Russia and Ukraine DAILY. It seems their sole purpose is to clog bandwidth. Go figure. In comparison, the spam folder has a mere 20-50 daily emails. And just who or what are dreamproxies??
    Don’t these folks have anything better to do with their time? Get a real job perhaps?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s very disruptive and distracting and it’s hitting us all. I asked for feedback on monetizing my blog and the responses confirmed what I had already decided – not a good idea. I’ve seen web pages so loaded with marketing coming in at all sides that you can’t even read the underlying post. Crazy

      Liked by 1 person

  4. happened to me, with the calls… but if you don’t answer for a couple of days – they’ll stop 🙂 about WP – true, getting wild here, lots of spam or strange accounts, trying to make sales on kind or unexperienced folks

    Liked by 1 person

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