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.
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"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
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, Hanania 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. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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