As shown in the movie American Hustle, New Jersey is the land of scams. Abscam was after all the basis of that film!

Warnings are sent out all the time by local police and other authorities that no, the IRS doesn’t call you, no the prosecutors office won’t take payment in the form of iTunes cards, no you haven’t won a free cruise from a company you never dealt with before just because you’re such a gosh darn nice person.

Screenshot: Jeff Deminski

My wife received all the calls shown here, 9 of them in two hours, the other day. They were relentless. She knows better than to answer unfamiliar numbers, but these were coming at such a frequency she got curious. She finally answered it in a quiet room but didn’t say a word, not even hello. She’s heard of the say yes scam and was too paranoid to utter any sound.

The prerecorded message explains that it was Verizon calling (it wasn’t) and that her service and account had been suspended (then how was she receiving these calls?) and that it was their ‘verification department’ needing some personal information. She was told to press a number to speak to someone to straighten this whole mess out.


We had just seen online the day before that our on-time payment had gone through and we were current with our account. So she knew this was nonsense and hung up, angry at herself for even having answered.

Then she googled and found recent news stories about scams like this where they pretend to be your phone carrier and need personal information before you’d be locked out of your phone. When you think how attached to and dependent on our phones we all are it’s a great scam. The thought of not being able to use your phone could make even rational people panic.

If you get a call like this, beware.

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