A familiar ring

by Daniel Cheer and Shea Dixon

It happens in an instant. You get a phone call.

“NO CALLER ID” is all your phone elects to tell you. Your contacts app has been glitchy lately; could it be someone you know?

Whom could it be? Your friend who needs to talk? Mom or dad calling for some help? Is my crush asking you out? That dream job calling to say, “Congratulations, you got the job”? 

With a new sense of nervous anticipation, you carry out of the room, giving yourself your customary “talking on the phone” pacing space. You answer quickly, struggling even to swipe to accept the call, and then you hear the dreaded words, all too familiar to any phone owner. 

“Hello, we’ve been attempting to reach you regarding your car’s extended warranty.”

You don’t even have a car. 

The computerized voice is grainy yet piercing to your ears. The electronic rabble rambles on as you give nothing but a heavy sigh to yourself. Finally, you hang up and feel your previous wave of emotion crash back down upon you. 

“Why?” you groan in anguish. 

This call, of course, has been the fifth time today. 

I’d just as soon not get these calls but they’d be just a bit more bearable if they used voice actors like James Earl Jones. You’d pick up the phone and hear “I find your cars lack of extended warranty, disturbing.”

You’ve signed up for the Don’t Call List a half dozen times, and yet, they continue. There is no sign of it stopping, no rest, no reprieve. Call after call, extended warranty after extended warranty. 

Time passes, and you quickly forget about the earlier incidents of the day. You forget too quickly. 

The phone rings.

This is not the first time this has happened, and despite constantly asking to be put on this scammer’s do not call list, chances are it will probably happen again in about a week.

But what are we to do? Unless you channel your inner Matthew Broderick from War Games, there is no real way to track these people who make the calls. 

The best option for you as a phone owner is merely to ignore any call saying “No Caller ID”. Eventually, whatever these scammers gain from the extended warranty call would be dried up and hopefully, the calls will stop.

If you are the type who can hack these phone scammers, chances are you’re not receiving these calls in the first place, and on behalf of the human population, help.

But for now, another call comes in.

“NO CALLER ID,” it reads. 

The call says again, “Hello, we’ve been attempting to reach you regarding your car’s extended warranty.”

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