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Robocalls are a menace by cellphone even on the 'list'

There is a new scourge on the land and it is called the robocall.

Suddenly my phone is ringing off the wall ... hmmm, now there's an obsolete expression ... whatever, the phone is ringing a lot ... with calls from automated salespeople with the smile in their voices. And occasionally, there's a snarky automated call like the one I got from the "IRS" warning me that if I don't call them I'll face criminal charges or worse.

On that, about a year ago I got my first threatening automated IRS call, and at the time my life was in an upheaval and for some reason I thought there might be something to it, so I dialed the number. I vividly remember sitting at the construction site where my business was being built, with all kinds of activity and noise around me, deadlines, pressure and general stressful situations, and I got this rowdy foreign guy telling me that I was up for charges against the IRS. He was clearly reading from a script and kept asking me if I wanted to avoid criminal prosecution.

Well, that's a dumb question, isn't it?

Now, I am possibly one of the most cynical people you'll ever know, but they caught me when I was down, and before I knew it I was sucked in. While half my brain knew the guy was full of it, the other half was just trying to get a word in edgewise. The conversation got louder, and before I knew it he broke me. I hung up on him, and I knew it was a scam, but I was crying because the guy was mean to me.

How pathetic was that? My co-worker found me in a puddle, and it took a bit of comfort before I was able to get my suit of armor back on.

Anyway, now I'm getting several calls a week from all over the country, and some outside the country. Lately I've seen calls with a local caller ID, too. I either don't answer or hang up immediately, but there they are, wanting me to do who knows what.

So remember back in 2003 when the National Do Not Call Registry came about? I signed up and BAM! the calls stopped. If ever one slipped through, I would tell the caller I was on a DNC list and they'd quickly apologize and hang up, never to call again.

I could be wrong, but I believe I heard that registry was good for only five years back then. However that went, gradually the calls have returned, and now I get more robocalls than I do personal calls.

Well, here's a news flash. Call 888-382-1222 and get yourself on that list. But don't get too excited. While legit companies used to care about violating the FCC's DNC Registry, robocallers couldn't care less. It's been in the news recently that it's a big problem, but according to my limited research, it should help to register. However, political organizations and charities are exempt, so there is apparently no stopping those calls.

To be specific, remember the IRS will never cold call you, so don't freak out when they say they're coming after you.

Like I did.

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