With the rise of technology and internet, we have the chance to surf things by just opening our computer and by just clicking the mouse. But what if you are one of those who are still not into this internet thing? What I mean is, you don't really have a penchant for it or you are one of those non-techie people. Because I was one of these non-techie people before I had my blog. I don't really hover the computer 24/7 all the time. There are just some people like me still; and more or less we are more prone to these phone scams.
My blogs are supposed to be about my best vacations and food trips. Something light and good. I really want to write about the good stuffs in life, but these scams really bugged me. It's something that I cannot ignore. And thanks to the internet, I can write about it and share it to people who needs information about these things.
Just a few hours ago our home phone number rang, and a lady sales agent with a provincial twang-accent greeted me and was looking for my husband. She doesn't even sound like a trained sales agent which by the way, she's trying very hard to be, speaking in English the whole time. She said she is from the Philippine Electronic Assessment Company, their telephone landline is 310-9760. Then I asked, what is this all about? She asked me if I'm the wife, I said yes.
Note: She knows the name of my husband which is the account name of our phone landline. They are getting good at this please be careful and beware guys!
Here's how our conversation goes as I remembered it:
lady agent: We are from the Philippine Electronic Assessment Company. We are assessing your phone landline and as our way of saying thank you for patronizing this line in PLDT we are giving you a free gift or freebie which is sponsored by Household Advertising Corporation. It is free, you don't have to pay anything. The only thing that you have to do is avail of it at our location.
When I heard her trying so hard to speak in English, the light bulb of suspicion is already blinking in my head. But I said, give her a chance, I might be bias just because of her accent, I'm already judging her. But when I heard about the company name, and their purpose of "assessing and giving a freebie" because we are loyal customers; the light bulb went flashing even harder. And when she said the "free" punchline. The light bulb went on flashing harder and harder. Nevertheless, I asked what we always ask if there is something free.
me: What are the free gifts you are giving away?
lady agent: Since we are sponsored by Household Advertising Corporation, we are giving you one of the 6 household appliances. It might be an induction cooker, water purifier...
She went on with the 6 lists of appliances. But what really struck me was the first freebie "induction cooker". My mom was scammed a few years back by Aowa in Tutuban Mall just because of a freebie. And one of the appliances that was offered was an induction cooker. The scam was still fresh even after all these years because we really went back to reverse that transaction. Now, I am 100% sure that this is a scam again. But I went on with her.
me: So, what appliance did we won ?
lady agent: We don't have the item description of what you won, it is only when you avail it at our designated location that you will know what the item is.
OMG, I thought, what company will tell you, if this is real, that they don't know what you have won? Only when you avail of it, that's the only time you will know? Fishy fishy fishy... But I still went on with her.
me: So, where am I going to avail this item?
lady agent: Saan po ba kayo malapit ma'am? (What place are you near?) We have a location at Harrison Plaza Shopping Mall or Isetann Recto.
me: Maybe Isetann Recto.
lady agent: We have just rented a place there at the 2nd floor, "I Home", near Jollibee. All you need to do is bring 2 valid IDs.
What? Just rented? They have made so many word mistakes that makes you suspicious. Still we kept on talking.
me: Where are you at Harrison Plaza Shopping Mall?
At the second floor also? Why is it that they are staying away from the main floor where all the action is? Seems like they don't want to be seen? Only people or company with a suspicious goal would do this. So, I went on.
me: I'm not sure yet if I'm going to avail it at Harrison Plaza Shopping Mall or Isetann Recto.
lady agent: We need to know where you will avail it so that we can inform our personnel on that said location.
What? See their tactics?
me: Does PLDT knows about this free gift? Are you an affiliate of PLDT?
lady agent: Ma'am, we are not an affiliate of any telephone company. We are assessing all the telephone companies landline like PLDT, Bayantel...
She told me all the other telephone companies. But none really sink in anymore. What's foremost in my mind is how to just end this. Have you ever heard a company assessing all other big companies? Hmmp... Really shame on them. I said to myself, I think this has gone long enough, so I ask a few more questions for the record because I did not clearly get the whole name the first time she went ranting on with her little speech.
me: What is your company's name again?
lady agent: We are from Philippine Electronic Assessment Company.
me: What about the name of your other company?
I was asking about the name of the company sponsoring them. Which I didn't quiet grasped the first few times around.
lady agent: Philippine Electronic Assessment Company nga po ma'am. (It is Philippine Electronic Assessment Company ma'am).
me: No, the other company you said that's giving away these free gifts.
lady agent: Ah, we are sponsored by Household Advertising Corporation.
My goodness, is this a tape recorder? It's like it's pre-recorded in their mind what to say to potential people that they are going to scam. And then here goes my surprise to her.
me: Baka bogus to ha? (Is this bogus?)
Then I was the one surprised by her answer because I was expecting a denial and ranting ons about their company. That they are real. You know what she said?
My goodness, she was already going to hang up. I was really expecting some fight over their company's reputation. Giving up so easily huh!
me: See, then this is really bogus!
Then she hung up. Oh my, oh my... I am really concerned about all those people who don't have the real incling of what these scammers are capable of. I had a lot of hands on experience with these scams. I have one coming up, but still putting it on hold because of some negotiations.
But years before, even before I started this blog, we had a hands on experience with Aowa. It was really distasteful. I want to write about it, but am not really sure if they are still there. And I cannot remember all the details of the events so I decided not to. But this recent one, I cannot really let this off the hook.
What I see about this is that their working tactics is to lure you to their locations, since nobody is patronizing their products; and when you are there they will bombard you with sales agents full of sweet talks to buy their products at a very very high price. Saying that you have won not only one freebie but still a lot more. That's how the tactics of Aowa before, and I think this company is not far from that. Don't be fooled by 5 - 6 pcs. of freebies when the money you will cash out is in the 5 digits! They are just tricks working on our minds.
TIPS before you decide anything that you might regret:
- When something too good to be true is offered to you. Something free and very beautiful and eye or ear catching... BEWARE! Stop first and think.
- Google google and google. But sometimes, you googled right? And you didn't find anything pertinent or bad. My suggestion. Try all the names. Like this one, try:
2. Household Advertising Corporation or
3. I Home or even phone numbers
One way or the other something might come up. Don't be just content in clicking the first information you see. Scroll down. Then when you see SCAM or BEWARE on some of the blogs; read about it. And you might be surprised! But if nothing really comes up. There should be some blogs that say something good about it. The plenty the good comments the better. Because some of these companies write their own blogs. Of course what else would they write but only good things about themselves.
- If you feel that something is not right deep inside. Then you might be right. Research about it. There's too much evil people in this world that wants to prey on innocent people.
- If you got scammed the first time or maybe the second time. Don't be too hard on yourself. You are definitely not alone. Find solutions and write it off as an experience you need to remember always so as not to let it happen again.
Please spread this around so as to inform our other fellow citizens of these scams. Hope when any of you read this, it had prevented you one way or the other of taking a step in being conned into these scams.