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Telephone scammers beware ... Buddy will bark your ear off

After having the same telephone number for more than 30 years, it has come as a great pain in the neck to try and remember I now have a new home phone number.

To my closest friends, who haven’t been able to get a hold of me on my home phone recently, I am sorry.

But here’s the thing: apparently when I got my new number so did all the telemarketers whom I had been holding at bay with the use of my caller ID and the National “Do Not Call” Registry. By the way, political calls at dinner time are ignored as a general principle.

As a cost saving measure that I now regret, I did away with caller ID. So, for the past month, Buddy has been complaining about the evening telephone interruptions. Every time the phone rings, his nap gets interrupted as I struggle up to go answer the telephone.

Nearly every phone call I’ve found myself answering is from someone trying to sell me something or asking me for money. The annoying calls have been coming in so regularly, I now just let Buddy bark fiercely into the phone when I discover the nature of the telephone call. Then I just hang up.

More recently a few of the calls have been scam calls. These calls annoy me the most. You know the ones I’m talking about. The nice sounding caller who is trying to sell me protection against the harmful viruses or malware on my computer. They offer to check and then install a new security system, which in reality is malware designed to steal your personal info.

Please, do not be fooled by these callers. They are the worst kind of scam artists and you will suffer mightily if you give in to their coaxing, but evil voices.

I am pretty savvy to the fact that there are no legitimate computer technicians who will randomly call me to check on my laptop.

But, I’ve heard a lot of people have recently been bilked out of their personal information by such tactics.

Buddy and I just want to warn you that they are trying to rip you off. Never, ever give any access to your computer, no matter who they say they are.

My little canine alarm system seems to be working. Having Buddy bark at them over the phone seems to shut them up and it only takes a couple of times for them to quit calling.

Seriously, follow the state Attorney General’s Office tips to avoid computer scam artists and other scams by never giving over the control of your computer to anyone who calls you; and always be vigilant in safeguarding your personal information.

And here is one last bit of advice: if you don’t have a Buddy canine “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” system, contact the State Attorney General office at www.atg.wa.gov to report any telephone scam.



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