It started almost two years ago when Baria changed cable companies. Scammers called acting as the new company.
“And she said if you pay up front then you get the whole year free,” says Baria.
She kept putting them off, but they kept calling.
“I said she is making me a nervous wreck,” says Baria.
Then she saw it was a scam, but other calls followed. So many that Baria was getting between three and 10 calls a day from scam artists. Police told her to change her number, but she does business with this one and doesn’t want to go through the hassle.
“I didn’t see where it was my place to have to do that.”
“As long as you have a phone, the scammers are going to continue to call,” says Detective Laura Soulier with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.
If changing your number isn’t an option, there isn’t much else you can do, but Baria found a way.
So since Baria didn’t want to change her number, she did something that not a lot of people would even think of. She thought to change the message on her answering machine.
“If you’re not a solicitor, charitable organization, political group or a scammer, I’m sorry I missed your call. If you are in one of these three groups please hang up and don’t call again,” says the message.
“I probably get 10% of the calls I used to get,” says Baria.
The rest are her friends who enjoy listening to it!
“Mickie, it’s Barbara, I love your message on your machine!” “Mickie, it’s Bobbi, I love your answering machine!” “Mickie, this is Jackie, girl you are a mess!”
“And that’s wonderful! If that works, shoot, do that!” says Soulier.
“Because some people will just cuss them out and tell them not to call back but I wouldn’t do that!” says Baria.
Soulier says she’s not surprised at the decrease in scammers leaving messages, she says most of them are just phishing and once they hear that message, they figure Baria isn’t worth the time.