Most agree-it's so awful, it's funny. Most say, "get a lawyer and get some big bucks from this guy and the phone company."
Others worry- it's a phone scam- like identity theft- I'm told to call the FBI Crime Task force ASAP.... Hmmm- I don't think this is a scam- what is the pay off? This guy gave me his name, his business and his phone number.
Still to be safe, we call the Phone company- they deny everything-(Which they would since they don't want a law suit.) We put a lock on our account. I google the porn guy's company-it pops up on a yellow pages listing...hmmm. I google the guy- yikes! He pops up in newspaper articles as having been convicted by the Feds in Denver in 2000-plead guilty for racketeering and running an escort service out of Toronto for cities such as Denver, Chicago, and New York.
We call the local FBI-what do they say? *shrug* "No laws have been broken. Get a lawyer and try to get ten grand out of the guy."
OKAAAAAY- porn guy sends us an e-mailed contract to sign where he will pay our phone bill for six months if we give him all the rights to our phone number. Guy calls and leaves message-we don't want to talk to him. He calls at midnight and 2 am. We send back an e-mail telling him we'll have our lawyers look it over and get back to him.
Things heat up-more calls come in-we screen calls-get two requests for escorts-one guy says he wants our address so he can pick the girl up... suspiciously shortly after-porn guy calls-leaves message-calmly tells us that his Internet ad is up already-displayed Prominently on google-is our address along with our phone number- if we don't act soon people will be coming by the house.
We are told by friends-this is a phone scam- don't rely on phone company's customer service- call the fraud line. We call fraud line-Get This...
Nice guy named Chad answers- his is shocked by my story- he says- call the cops! "Wait!" I say after waiting 5 minutes on line to get Chad. "I was told by friends you could help me." He has never heard of such a story- he says it sounds like something out of a thriller-
Yeah- I'm a writer, I telll him but I'm not making this up. Can he help me? He consults with his bosses- he comes back- we all agree you need to call the cops.
"Can't you put a block on this guy's calls?"
"Yeah, but not the rest of the calls...and we can't block anything until you have a police case file number."
"Really," he says. "If I could I would go punch this guy in the face-but there is nothing I can do. You need to call the cops."
"So, this is not a phone scam."
"Not one anyone hear has heard of-"
"but you're the fraud department."
"I usually deal with calls like, how come my bill is so high this month..."
Poor nice Chad wishes me luck -and wishes he could find out what happens next...and tells me to write the book so he can read the ending...
Convinced this is real- despite the Feds nonchalance-I call the cops. My daughter is wigged out by the idea of creepy men driving by our house looking for sex.
Local cop comes to take our story- nice guy- calm...he has a gun and a bullet proof vest-yeah, I'd be calm, too...He takes all the info- he agrees -this is not a scam. This is a real bad guy with a mixed up number-who is losing business every day we don't comply with his wishes. Cop says with grin-"Let them come to your house. We want them to come to your house. So we can show up and ask them what they are doing..."
Then he tells us what everyone else has told us- get a lawyer and sue this guy for ten grand. In the meantime, tell neighbors- and don't be afraid to call 911 should any stranger show up at the house.
So-once my soon-to-be ex husband is home-we plug phone back in - guy calls. H tells him that things have changed- we've been getting calls- as he told us people will be coming by- this is a bigger hastle than he let on initially-our lawyer says we need more money. Porn guy blows up!!! Cursing ensues-threats are made:
"I will make your life a living hell. I will inform everyone at your work, your wife's work, your kids work that your number is for an escort service..." To which we answer with a laugh-hell, we've already told everyone.
"I will call the cops and tell them you are running a prostitution ring out of your home." We laugh-but don't' tell him we already told the cops.
"He claims he is Italian and knows people who can come by and hurt us."
"He tells H to think about what our daughter will think when a guy shows up at the door asking her to suck his...." H laughs-daughter will kick said guy's ass- after she calls 911 of course.
"What do we want?" "Ten grand." Guy screams we are shaking him down. We aren't people of our word-"What?" we say, "You told us to check with our lawyer-we did. He said ten grand." cursing and more threats ensue. He tells us -he didn't do this the phone company did- we tell him to send us proof the phone company did and we'll gladly go to the phone company about pain and suffering. He curses and throws out phony contract numbers but refuses to send us copies of the actual paperwork...
Sounds like he messed up- not them. Either way- we didn't make this mess-if he wants our number he will have to pay us. Yikes! He goes bananas-
I hang up phone. We call nice cop. We report threats- cop takes it all in stride-says we are right this guy has done 21 months in the clinker for this stuff- Cop has contact in FBI and he lets us know people are getting involved. Meanwhile guy keeps calling back. We simply unplug phone. We have cell phones-land line can go to message.
So- don't call my landline-I won't answer.
Later H checked messages- says guy has calmed down-seems porn guy has addressed me-(Can you hear the snaky slither?) He is nice guy-explaining to sweet wife that H has not fully told me what will happen if we don't comply-how my "sexy little voice" on the answering machine will only draw more calls and unsavory people to the house...
Later we get e-mail from guy-threatening that if we don't sign within 24 hours we will lose any chance of being compensated- as he will work something out with phone company. Good we think- if he gets phone comany to compensate him-all the better for us...
Get up this morning-plug phone in to check messages- more calls for escorts-and a call from a woman looking for work...
Now-I believe this guy is having his friends and employees call to strong arm us. He claims we will come crawling back to him in a week begging him to take our number. What? Stupid. We don't need his money. We don't need our land line. We have cell phones. We have cops.
We have also decided that we will keep the number for a few weeks-as it's his business that's being harmed not us. We'll simply unplug phone and check messages twice a day.
Creepy yes- ickie-yep- kind of like finding a rat in your house. I'll keep you posted. Oh, and Yeah-and I'm taking notes for the true crime story I'm going to write... do you think Oprah will want to interview me?