About two and a half years ago I posted an item — “Calling Jessica Jones” — about increasingly annoying telemarketer calls asking for a person by that name. As I said then, it turns out it’s not really the telemarketers’ fault–they were acting on what they thought was a legitimate request from someone seeking their goods. And the reason I kept getting calls was that the telemarketers have a custom of re-selling old leads, much like banks selling junk bonds.
Happily, over this period, the calls have slacked off to almost nothing…maybe once every 6 months.
And then, just yesterday, she struck again!
Now, I keep my phone set in quiet mode during the classes I teach so I didn’t notice the voice message until several hours later. It said, “Hey there, this is Kirsten from [garbled…sounds like “book words store”]. You had made an order with us on the 15th and for some reason our system has flagged it as fraudulent so, uh, we can’t send it until you verify your name and address. So if you just give us a call…”
Riiiiiight. Next thing you know it’ll be the IRS or Mystery Shopper calling. But I was curious what kind of fraud might be being perpetrated since about two months ago I had my credit card number hacked. So I called the outfit, which turned out to be based in Tennessee.
And guess who the person was who had ordered “bulk herbs”?
No, not Jessica Jones. Nope, it was Jeana Jones.
I had a delightful, cooperative chat with Ms. Kirsten who was nice enough to give me both the mailing address and email for the new Ms. Jones. The email was the same as before: firstname.lastname@example.org. The bulk herbs store had tried emailing that address but didn’t get a response.
But get this, the street address had changed. In March 2014, the address (which I visited) was in Phoenix in an apartment complex on N. 12th St.
The new address 16825 N. 14th St., #16, is several miles north of the old one . . . and I plan to pay a call there one of these afternoons.
But I’m sure it’ll be the same outcome: a nice lady will answer the door and have no idea who JJ is. And the apartment complex manager will not be allowed to give out any info.
Here’s the thing, though. I’m still perplexed as to what Jeana/Jessica gets out of this. She/he/it is not receiving any goods and is not out any money. So unless she’s some kind of industrial spy, neither Kirsten nor I see how the gimmick works. Clearly it’s not just a question of a mistaken phone digit — the perp has obviously changed her name from Jessica to Jeana and moved her putative address just a few miles to the north but kept my phone number to bait the vendors with.
I’m open to hearing explanations from anyone who might be in the know…
…including you, Jeana/Jessica. You know the number.