Like many of you, I have come to the realization that people not in my contact list who actually use their voices to communicate with me over this texting machine usually want something from me—many times, a sales pitch. I’ve given up on answering most of these calls. For the few that leave a message, I will return it if it’s important. Hopefully people have figured out by now that written communication is preferred in many instances.
I recently got one of those robo-dialers to leave me a generic, threatening message (which you can listen to here) that meets many of the requirements of good social engineering. The transcript is below (apologies for the bad copy in two areas, the message is garbled as you can tell and starts before my voicemail picks up):
… contact you regarding an enforcement action executed by the United States Treasury, intending your serious attention. Ignoring this (…) an intentional second attempt to avoid initial appearance before a Magistrate Judge, or a Grand Jury, for a Federal criminal offense. My number is 443-268-0293. I repeat, it’s 443-268-0293. I advise you to cooperate with us, and help us to help you. Thank you.
What are some of the elements here to consider? Well, we’ve got some threatening words, key triggers for “HANG ON STOP WHAT IS HAPPENING” (Grand Jury, Judge, Magistrate, which yeah), threatening a crime (Federal criminal offense), and a “I’m the good guy here” phrase stolen right from Jerry McGuire, “help us to help you.”
If you have gotten this message or something similar, tell me about it down in the comments!