NewsLocal NewsCuyahoga County

Actions

Woman calls scammers back to call them out, gets nasty text message back

Posted at 2:47 PM, Feb 05, 2018

A Parma Heights woman got more than she bargained for when she responded to the scammers who kept robocalling her.

"They texted me back, like ten minutes later, saying, 'f-you,'" Rhenda Miller told News 5. "I was like, oh my gosh, there really is somebody on the other end of this phone."

Miller told News 5 she was annoyed they kept dialing her cell. 

"I was really mad about it because I know my mom would have fallen for this, maybe my kids, so I called them back."

The robo-voicemails left on her phone said, "You will be taken under custody by the local cops, as there are 4 serious charges pending against you."

"I just called them back and said, 'Stop calling me. You're a scam artist. No. I don't owe you any money. Stop calling my number,'" Miller explained. 

She was surprised and frightened when they responded with an obscenity via text.

Miller said she reported it and all the calls to the police, but added there's a lesson here for everyone getting these calls. 

"Maybe don't call them back! Ignore them. Delete it."

So, what's the best thing to do with unwanted calls? Here are some tips the Federal Trade Commission shared with News 5: 

  • If possible, don’t answer a phone call with a questionable or unknown Caller ID, even if it’s from your area code. Let the caller leave a message, so you can decide whether you want to talk with them.
  • If you have to answer the call and discover it’s a robocall, hang up the phone. Don't press 1 to speak to a live operator and don't press any other number to get your number off the list. If you respond by pressing any number or talking to the caller, it will probably just lead to more robocalls. 
  • Consider contacting your phone provider and asking them to block the number, and ask whether or not they will charge you to do that. Remember that telemarketers change Caller ID information easily and often, so it might not be worth paying a fee to block a number that will change.
  • Consider contacting your phone provider and asking them if they have a robocall-blocking product for their subscribers.
  • See if your cell phone has number-blocking tools built into it.
  • If you get a text from an unknown or questionable source, DO NOT click on any links in the text or call any telephone numbers in the text.
  • Report your experience to the FTC online or by calling 1-888-382-1222.