From spamming business to sex offender in 10 minutes
Heard of Mediascend? Apparently they make videos of some kind. Apparently they also make obscene phone calls. Here's today's chapter in the continuing story of The Strange Goings-On in the Life of Impossibly Stupid.
I got up this morning to a rare email spam. As you'll note from some of my other posts, I run a pretty tight anti-spam ship. That being said, I do still have some domains hanging around that have no email presence, excepting as spam traps. One of them had been dictionary attacked at both sales and info addresses, with the sender being the aforementioned mediascend.com.
I won't bother going into the details of their spam, but the handy thing they did was include a toll-free 800 number to call. I always make it a point to accept those invitations, and I highly recommend you do the same, because it's one of the few ways you can make a spammer pay for spamming you. In case you didn't realize it, toll-free costs the party receiving the call some small amount of money (I've never seen it being more than $0.10/minute). Not much, but it's something.
What I usually do is simply dial the number and walk away. The call works out to being as long as they let it be. In the case of Mediascend, they seem to have an incredibly crappy voicemail system that tied up the line for upwards of 5 minutes. They invited two calls, so I called back a second time. Total cost to them: less than a buck. Total satisfaction to me: more than bothering to report the spam.
Then it got weird.
Soon afterwards, I got a call that was a hang up. Let me point out that I almost never use this phone line for anything. I seldom make calls with it, and I seldom expect calls on it. I always let the answering machine pick up, and I always have some random, unidentifiable saying as the outgoing message. At this particular point in time, that message is:
I'm already there, just keep looking.
As you might imagine, a hang up on that is not to be unexpected. I can easily imagine someone at Mediascend wondering who left two long, empty messages. They give it a quick call back, hopefully costing them again in long distance charges, and are left unsatisfied. Then everyone gets on with their lives.
But that's not where it ended.
Immediately after the hang up comes a second call. I'm going to post it for you because it is really a vile way for a business to behave. This is fair warning that you should not listen unless you're comfortable with sexually explicit language. I also apologize about the quality; I had to record off the answering machine speaker to get a computer copy.
Know anybody at Mediascend who sounds like that? To be honest, I'm not exactly sure who the caller is. Because I use it so rarely, it's just a basic phone line without any way for me to ID them. All I'm going on is the very strongly related timeline of these events. It would probably take a court order to track down the person who is fully responsible. If someone at Mediascend wants to dispute my account at the risk of criminal charges and entry into the national registry, you're welcome to take things to that level.