Phone-iness Runs Rampant 

Aside from child enticement (seven and counting in the last two weeks!), the crime du semain since our last issue has undoubtedly been phony telephone solicitations (that is, if you don't count the usual dozens of DUI and FTA). The first such case to pass through our fax machine was from the Better Business Bureau, who reported they have been deluged with complaints about people getting calls from an individual claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service. The caller told his audiences that they had been "good citizens" and paid their taxes on time, and were entitled to a government grant ... as long as they provide their bank account number over the phone. We're figuring the victims knew something was up because nobody (with the exception of yours truly, Nicholas Collias) is uptight enough to have done their taxes already (and I've only done it because if I don't deliver $847 in unmarked, nonconsecutive bills to my big sister by next Friday, she's going to tear my Teddy Ruxpin a new story-telling hole).

Twenty-six hours later, we received word--again from the BBB--that five local senior citizens had fallen prey the previous Friday to yet another scheme, this time from someone claiming to represent the "U.S. federal government" in general. The victims were instructed to wire their entire savings accounts to an address in Canada. In return, they would receive larger Social Security checks in the future. That scenario may sound implausible, but then again, handing over management of Social Security to Canada makes about as much sense as any of the ideas proposed by our actual government, so cut the grayhairs some slack.

And finally, just 20 minutes after that doozy, the Boise Police Department shot over a release about a local man complaining that a solicitor had called him requesting money to support the department's K9 unit. When the man refused to give the solicitor financial information or a commitment over the phone, the caller was quite rude in response.

So let's recap: If someone calls you claiming to a) want to give you money (unless it's a piddly-ass $50 proletariat-mollification check from the State of Idaho); b) represent the entire U.S. federal government; or c) like dogs, hang up and call someone who gives a damn. Like the police.

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