The phone rings with an obviously faked number on caller id. You decide to pick up anyway. It’s an attractive male voice that addresses you by your first name and makes some idiotic comment about preparing to leave a voicemail or whatever.
David Farenthold tells us the story behind those phonecalls (gift link). To nobody’s surprise, yes they are scams. He’s got the goods on the organizations and what they do with the money they’re soliciting.
I am old enough that I expect and demand that people identify themselves when they call me. So that is how I start off with these phonecalls. The spiel continues, so it is obvious that it is a recording. At that point I generally shout “Fuck off” at the thing. But I’ve been curious about how they do that. Farenthold explains: There are a bunch of buttons for various recorded replies that remove the obvious indication of a scam, the accent that tells you that the call is coming from Nairobi or Kolkata.
Several rightwing organizations are behind these calls, and their intention is to push voters in the rightwing direction while scarfing up money that goes to them rather than the veterans or police or firefighters that they use as fronts. The details are in the article.
It’s one of those articles that inserts portions where you have to scroll and scroll and scroll to get tiny particles of information or to see a figure filled in. I find them annoying and condescending – I can’t read sentences or look at pictures at my own speed. I’m curious about others’ reactions to that kind of presentation.