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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Creepy Computer Scams..

So, for the last couple of months I kept getting calls from "Invalid Caller" which I didn't pick up, when I was home, and no messages were ever left. Then I kept getting these calls from Invalid Caller  #1-209-172-6778-- first once a day, then twice a day then sometimes 3-4 times a day, I wasn't picking up even when home, no message left -- but damn irritating, the phone ringing so many times --  finally the other day, I was standing in the kitchen right by the phone and it rang and the Caller ID was that Invalid Caller number I recognized, as the one calling me constantly, so I picked up the phone hoping to just put an end to this...

So, I say "Hello" and there's this guy with an Indian accent, I mean East India or maybe Iran or whatever, but speaking English with a strong accent, and he says he is calling about my computer tech company. And I ask him what is the name of your company -- and he sorta says something very quick like PCTech something and says we've noticed you have slow internet connection and are getting many "error messages"...

And I say "No."

And he says, well, you do not see it, but we do. And then he wants me to go onto my computer and login... And I am sensing SCAM big time and probably should have just hung up, but I didn't and instead I said, oh? and what kind of computer do I have?

He says "Microsoft"

I say, "Sorry - I have a Macintosh" so you got the wrong person.

He says, "Macintosh is just the hardware, Microsoft is your software, and that is the problem."

And I say, "Sorry, Macintosh has it's own software. I don't have Microsoft."

And he says, "No, you are wrong."

So I tell this dude "Sorry, this is a scam."

And he says, "Well, you are an idiot."

And I say, "What?'

And then he is screaming at me, "You are STUPID AND AND IDIOT"

And I say, "What?'

And he repeats that I am "stupid" and an "idiot",  and then he says, "or maybe you just having a bad day?"

And I say, I don't why I say this, but I say, "Well, every day has been bad day since my husband died."

And then he screams at me "YOU KILLED YOUR HUSBAND!"

And I say "what did you say?"

And he says, "You killed your husband because you are stupid and an idiot."

And I tell you, I am angry, freaking, mad and I yell into the phone "DON'T EVER CALL THIS NUMBER AGAIN AND FUCK YOU!" and I hang up.

Still shaking, can't believe it. But shaking because I have been dealing with a lot guilt - i.e. should I have forced Bob to go to the hospital the night before he died? Would that had made any difference? And did I make a wrong decision by following Bob's wishes to NOT go the hospital that night?

I tried to call the phone number back, to make a complaint. Just got a message from Verizon that it was an "invalid phone number",  so could not call back and a friend helped me figure out to block calls from that caller ID which I did...

But still --

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

And another one....

Today I got another call from the newspaper -- hello?  They want to offer Robert a special offer -- reduced subscription price..... how many times does a person have to tell a company that someone is deceased????  grrrrr

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Phone messages from the dead....

OK, so today Kona and I were in the pool and when we came in, I noticed my answering machine blinking  - so after I showered, dried off, etc. I pushed the button on the answering machine to get my messages.

My phone talks (ha! new technology) and said "You have 2 new messages." and I hit play, and got one message from Walgreens (automated) that my prescription was ready for pick up, and then a second message that went like this:  (2nd Message, 2:55 pm)

"Hey Di! It's, (pause) Arline Rogers. Talk to you later." Click.

Then a 3rd message from my mom, saying "call us back."

OK -- back up here, that's 3 messages not two and --- Arline Rogers? That is my dear friend, Chris,  who is dead -- that's her legal name spelled "Arline" pronounced : Arleen, she always hated it and went by Chris, in fact few people knew her real legal name. The message pronounced it "Arlean" as it was pronounced. Then...

No one calls me "Di" well hardly anyone, some people started calling me "Di" after Lady Di -- Princess Diana -- but everyone knows I hate it -- and Chris would tease me with a "Hey Di!" all the time cause she knew it got my goat so to speak....

I go back and listen again,  still to that same message "Hey Di!.. It's Arline Rogers. Talk to you later."  Listened to it six, seven, eight + times --- still the same message, though the voice is sort of soft and hard to hear.  I had to put my ear on the phone to hear it clearly...

I have caller ID and it tells me who called and what time and I scroll through that, and all I have for today is my mother and Walgreens, and nothing at 2:55 p.m. when this call came in from Chris or "Arline"---  no "unknown caller" or "out of area" caller nor any other caller at all today. Just my mom and dad's phone # and Walgreens.

Anyone ever got a phone message from a dead person? Am I going crazy? Truth be told, I am freaking out -- and the message -- it's still on my machine... but what does it mean?

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Dead Men Don't Read Newspapers

For years Bob & I had a subscription to our local newspaper. Pre-stroke, he read the paper, front to back and loved doing the crosswords, often taking them to work to have something to do when business was slow. I loved the Arts & Literature sections, read the headline news and clipped coupons as we were always on a tight budget.

Post-stroke, Bob could no long read or do crosswords, so I changed our subscription to "Sunday only" as I could still get the coupons and, heck, it took me a full week just to read one newspaper in-between caregiving.

After Bob's death, I found I just did not have the concentration to even read the newspaper at all. And the few times I clipped some coupons, I usually ended up losing them or leaving them on the countertop when I went to the store. So I didn't renew the subscription.

And then calls kept coming and coming, and each time I explained that my husband had died and no longer wanted the subscription, yet still the calls kept coming and coming, almost daily, and I kept telling them my husband died, but the calls didn't stop to the point where a sales rep offered me a deal, $52.00 for a year, Sunday only, and I decided to take it just to stop the damn constant calls.

Imagine my shock, when the bill arrived, addressed to Bob or should I say "Robert" ... after how many, many times I told them he was dead. It really pissed me off... but I paid it thinking, well, maybe I'll will start reading it again.

So the paper has been coming every Sunday, and but all this time, I haven't read it once, and a year has passed, and it's just ended up in the recycle bin and so when I got the renewal notice in the mail addressed to "Robert", I knew what it was and didn't even bother to open it, just wrote on the envelope "Deceased, Return to Sender" and sent it back.

Immediately, the Sunday paper no longer showed up. And I thought, good. That's the end of that.

Then the calls started again -- jeepers! and at first I ignored them, actually was not sure who the number was from on my caller ID, thinking it was a telemarketer or another political robot call or survey -- but every day the same number called and finally tonight, out of frustration, picked up the phone and it was a newspaper rep telling me he "noticed" our delivery was stopped and I told him that's because my husband had died. And then he says, "Well, let me get you guys back on the plan..." and I'm thinking "you guys? didn't you just hear me? He's dead!" So I stopped him mid-sentence and said, "Excuse me, but my husband is dead and DEAD PEOPLE DON'T READ NEWSPAPERS!"

His response was "Oh!" (long pause) then "sorry. I'll make a note."

Let's see if that will work..... aargh! What's a widow to do?

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Strange Days

Once again, I hate to say I've neglected my blog but July has been a freakish, stressful and busy month for me...

Including: my computer being "hacked" again. A "creditor" calling repeatedly telling me I owe $14,000 on a VISA Gold card (which I never had such a card), and an unauthorized credit on my real card -- after which the bank cancelled my only credit card and I had to wait for a new one to arrive. And the pool water features not working properly.... another service call from them.

Add to that, some stranger knocking on my door after dark and scaring the heck out of me and this happened more than once ... to the point I was crawling on the floor trying to peek out of the windows to see who was out there. And afterwards, bought and installed a security chain on my front door and motion detector lights for the front porch, and began locking my front and back gates every night. I tell you I was scared, even thinking about getting a gun, only to later talk with a neighbor who had the same experience and turns out it was some "young woman" collecting "donations to save the honeybees" -- though she only would accept "cash".... Phew! I had thought I was being targeted by someone...  Sometimes it's scary living alone.... especially at night and the weather hasn't helped, a lot of loud thunderstorms rocking the house and leaving me curled up with the dog on the couch for comfort.

Of course, the locked gate one morning caused me to miss the delivery of my new credit card.

I also had a few meetings with our bank and had to make some financial decisions, a very unnerving process, which left me afterwards in tears because, the financial advisor said something to the affect of "In a perfect world, what would you invest in?" And all I could think was "in a perfect world, Bob would still be alive and I would not be sitting here." And I know that sounds idiotic, but I managed to keep it together until I got home when I had a real breakdown, a real wailing, sobbing loud breakdown, because where are you Bob, damn it, I need you.

Also went through some things to donate to a charity yard sale for a local animal rescue, and as I was digging through closets and boxes, kept running to Bob's stuff, which brought back so many memories and thoughts of plans unfilled, art sketchbooks never used, and etc. etc.... damn.  His closet still filled with his clothes, though I didn't touch any of that stuff yet....

This morning I'm waiting for a fellow to come and pick up some boxes for the sale...

My stress level has been through the roof, I tell you. I find myself doing things like misplacing items, and wondering why I walked into a room -- and twice parked my car, got out and forgot to turn the engine off!  Duh... My therapist is suggesting hypnosis ---- Not sure about that... would love to hear from anyone who tried hypnosis for anxiety/stress and/or grief.

On a lighter note:  I've had a few nice lunch dates with women friends, saw a play and dinner after, went to one "relaxation yoga" class and may go back for another -- the class left me with a sore back, but I might try it again, knowing now what to expect...

And I got a bird feeder and seed and first only attracted acrobatic squirrels and some feisty nocturnal rats -- but am finally seeing birds... especially one red cardinal who comes by at night....

Today, I'm been feeling nauseous and nervous and not sure if it's just stress or some bug.... and I hear thunder in the distance, was hoping that by writing, it would calm me down, but whatever....

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Being Creative

I'm very proud of my own "invention" -- taking this antique candy dispenser and figuring it out how to make it into a dog treat dispenser -- it took a bit of screwing around (literally with a screwdriver) but finally got it going --- it works!
Bob bought this "Acorn All Purpose Vending" dispenser years ago and it just sat around as "decor" and I finally put it use --

Only problem is Kona now has to "earn" a penny to dispense her mini-milkbone treats! ha!