I check the number and groan. Phone scammers now send calls using the same area code and first three digits of a nearby town. In my case, each call says “Groton.”
No one in Groton is on my address list.
I ignore the call and sauté the onions before the phone rings again. And three minutes later, again.
Just about ready to throw the phone in the drawer and lock it up, I notice that the “scammer” has left a voice mail message. Weird. Scammers never leave a “calling card,” so to speak.
I listen. A young voice says, “Hi Margery. This is Clark. I just want you to know that I have a ….” The voice hesitates and I hear a female respond in the background. The mother, I guess, and then the young person adds, “a gizmo for my birthday. Call me back!”
Oh, I think, how cute. This kid thinks he’s calling Margery, whoever she is – a friend of the family? And wants to tell her all about his gizmo. Whatever that is. And the kid’s name is Clark, just like my grandson’s.
I feel sorry that the young boy thinks he’s left a message for Margery, and Margery will never answer. So, I return the call. The young voice answers with an uncertain “Hello?”
“Hi!” I say. “You left a message for Margery. I am not Margery. You got the wrong number.”
Stunned silence on the other end. Then the boy says, “Ohhhhh kayyyyy,” sounding immensely confused.
“Bye!” I hang up, feeling unsettled.
Ten seconds later, my phone rings again with a number I recognize – my daughter’s. “Hello!” I say liltingly.
“Mom. Why did you tell Clark you’re not his Madre?”
My heart sinks toward my wobbly knees. “That was Clark?”
“Yes, he told you he was Clark.”
“But I thought he asked for Margery.” As the words fly out of my mouth, I realize he asked for me, his Madre. “Well, why is the phone number from Groton?” I retort, trying to defend myself.
I want to tell her she is speaking gibberish. I want to tell her that I thought I’d been scammed. I want to tell her that back in the day gizmo meant an object whose name you couldn’t recall. Instead I say, “could you please put Clark on the phone?”
Thank goodness my 9-year-old grandson has a sense of humor. “I got worried when you told me you weren’t my Madre,” he confesses with a smile in his voice. “Can I call you now on my Gizmo?”