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Time to stop the phone scam bullies
By RAY HANANIA
Southwest News-Herald Friday, March 14, 2014
For the past few months, I have been receiving telephone calls from (347) 559-0378, telling me I am going to be charged with a crime if I do not return their call immediately to (202) 754-8079.
Now, I know a lot of people would like to put me in jail simply because they hate my opinions, fortunately a freedom that is still protected under the U.S. Constitution.
But what I don’t understand is how these scammers can get away with what they are doing to residents not just in Illinois but across the country, without getting caught.
Here’s the message they have left on my answering machine:
“You need to call us before this matter goes to the federal court house or before you get arrested by the County Sheriff’s officers. Kindly call us back on our number, which is (202) 754-8079, repeat (202) 754-8079. Don’t disregard this message and do return the call before the situation does worsen on you. To know more about this please press 1 now. To ignore this message, please press 9. Thank you and have a wonderful day.”
The caller ID identifies the caller openly as coming from (347) 559-0378.
Every day, people are being scammed into sending money to these threatening bullies. Seniors. Families.
Why can’t the U.S. Attorney’s office shut these scammers down? Why can’t the state attorneys general come down hard on these scammers? The caller claims the “County Sheriff” is involved, so why isn’t the county sheriff doing something about this?
Why can’t the telephone company shut these scammers down? If I can call the phone number, why can’t the telephone company call the phone number.
If you have been reading my column long, you know I don’t shy away from a fight. I called the 202 number and immediately got into an argument with a lady who answered the phone. Eventually, she hung up. And that made me feel good.
Email scammers are so disappointing because you miss the chance to shove it back in the faces of the email scammers the way you can do it on a telephone.
If I can call (202) 754-8079, so can our crime fighting authorities. Put these scammers away in jail for threatening people and impersonating government officers.
How is it that with all the technology we have today, the scammers can use it to their advantage to lie and steal, but the victims can’t seem to get anyone to easily trace the scammers to their point of origin.
Clearly, these are scammers who know how to use our technology better than our crime fighters know how to fight against the criminals.
If one of our government officials in the crime fighting industry is reading this column, maybe they might want to call that 202 number and read this script back to them:
“Hi. I’m the Attorney General of the United States and I am calling to demand that you immediately identify yourself and turn yourself in to the local police authorities. Failure to turn yourself in could result in your immediate arrest and detention in the ‘hole,’ which if you are familiar with any James Cagney movie, you know that is a horrible place to sit for the rest of your freaking life. Press 1 if you understand. Press 9 if you need to book a reservation and get the hell out of our country. Thank you. And have a nice day!”
Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist. Reach him at www.TheMediaOasis.com.
This post has already been read 106 times!
Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.
Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.
Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com