Telephone scummers

Dear Editor

On Dec. 26, I answered a presumably Saskatchewan telephone number. Well, well. It was just another telephone scammer. As usual, I pushed the number 1 to speak to a representative whom I assumed would have trouble understanding. As usual it was.

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“How are you?” (As if he cared.)

And, as usual, I said, “I am well, thank you, and why are you still pulling this scam?”

And, as usual, I put the telephone on a table without pushing the off button and went about my business.

The real bottom of the barrel in that line was the bunch that phoned about the warranty on computers. One time it was:

“We are phoning about your (whatever) computer.”

“I don’t own a (whatever) computer.”

But as I was about to hang up, the man said, “You are lying, ma’am.”

Accent or not, I heard that clearly. He no doubt heard clearly what I replied. Oh, nothing vulgar, but extremely erudite.

It is no use phoning the designated number about these scummers (no, that isn’t a typo) because all they do is change the number from which they call.

It isn’t just scammers who use the telephone. That same day I’d just come in from afternoon chores when the phone rang. The caller claimed he was from a certain group formed to protect taxpayers, or so they have always claimed. He wanted money from me to fight the proposed carbon tax. When he temporarily ran down, I asked him if anyone understands the carbon capture idea. Oh, yes, said he, it is to tax every household in Canada (named sum) every year. (As a side note, if there were a tax to project the environment, one would think that concerned people would support it – but they would also have to be informed people.)

But I asked again.

“Does anyone know what is carbon capture? Do you?”

Dead silence.

Then, “Well, thank you for taking my call.”

Before he could hang up, I said, “You know nothing about it but you want money from me to fight it.” And I burst out laughing. The thing smacked more of politics than of protection for taxpayers. Again, I am thankful I belong to no political party.

It reminded me of when a group started quite some years ago, supposed to protect civil liberties. I joined out of curiosity. A year or two later we had a winter in the West that gave us a lot of snow. The highway snowplow operators threatened to go on strike. The central Canada-based group backed them. I wrote to cancel my membership, asking about the liberties of the travelers who might be stranded or killed. The winters in beautiful central Canada are not the same as in beautiful Saskatchewan.

It was three years ago when the delegates at the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities passed a resolution asking the provincial government of Saskatchewan (still beautiful in spite of us) for some help in fighting rural crime. A large group, supposed to represent farmers, said it was a racist resolution!

What? Oh, to be sure, racists are to be found all over and some circumstances are bound to create racism, but had I been a SARM delegate, I would have supported the resolution. That would have meant that I was a raving racist? I cancelled my membership to that group, too.

Now, what is the point of this letter? I’m not sure. Is it about people who want to pick my pocket and then try to tell me it’s for my own good? Or is it just about the way we are today – rude and greedy with our own agenda?

Oh, I meant that the province of Saskatchewan is still beautiful in spite of us, not that the provincial government is still beautiful in spite of us.

I suppose if we did have beautiful government, it would solve everything.

Christine Pike


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