I admit to annoyance.
Over the past week or two, I’ve been receiving several automated calls to my cell phone. The message is the same on each one: they claim to be with a group called the “Political Survey Group”, that they know I must be frustrated with the direction the country is going, and asking me to take part in a quick political survey, after which I will be compensated with a free cruise. The first time I got the call, I listened to the message long enough to get to the “free cruise” part, and promptly hung up, figuring it to be a scam. Since then they’ve called a few more times, but never on my home line. Each call has been to my cell phone, which last I checked was illegal (as it’s from a robocall).
After doing a little research, I found that it is indeed a scam. The automated survey is only a few questions long, at which point they direct you to a representative with the cruise line. It’s at that point you’re told that in order to get the “free cruise”, you’re required to pay a port tax up front.
Personally, I’m considering it a particularly slimy scam, especially as they’re using a political survey as the lead-in during a rather heated election season. More, as I said, they’ve been calling cell phones, which means the recipient of the call has to pay for it. I know there are exceptions to the National Do Not Call Registry for political messages; I wonder if they’re using the “political survey” as an end-run around the rules.
In any event, do yourselves a favor. If you get a call from these people, hang up on them immediately, or better, don’t answer at all (especially if the call is from the 360 area code).