Why do Australian Companies act like Nigerian Money Scammers???? A Personal Story.

Today I received a text message out of the blue.

Hi Peter, this is an important message to please contact Probe urgently on 1300 660 522 quoting reference number DT******** Thank You.

So I ring and quote the reference number.

The operator asks me to verify my full name and address.

I refuse.

I ask her to explain who Probe is and what the issue is.

She refuses due ‘to privacy’.

I ask her if Probe is a debt collection agency. (took an educated guess)

She confirms it is. So ok I will confirm who I am. (thought this may be the best course of action in light of my Credit Rating)

Operator: Will you confirm your residential address?

Me: No.

So I ask? Can you confirm who you are and how do I know you are not a Nigerian money scammer.

Operator says:- We are not Nigerian scammers.

I say:- Isn’t that what a Nigerian Money Scammer would say?

After this the conversation goes back and forth for a few more exchanges as I try to convince the woman that she is acting exactly like a Nigerian money scammer (Like Robert if you listen to Kate and Husey in the drive time radio spot in 106.5FM)

She finally let’s me know that apparently my Roam Tolling account is $24 in arrears.

So then she asks for my Credit Card number.

I asked her to confirm her residential address.

She refuses.

So I tell her she possibly does live in Nigeria and therefore I won’t give her my credit card details.

She asks well how are you going to fix this?

I told her I will ring Roam Tolling direct.

As I am about to hang up she asks if I can confirm that I still live at Cambewarra address.

Me:- Have you learnt nothing from these last few minutes?

So I ring Roam Tolling.

During the 6 minutes of preliminary recorded messages I am asked to put in my Roam Tolling Account number followed by the hash button. And the the six digital PIN number associated with the account.

Which I do.

Operator:- Good Morning sir. Can I start with your account number?

Me: No.

Operator: Why not.

Me:- Because I have already entered it.

Operator: Well I don’t have access to that.

Me: So why does the machine ask me to do it.

Operator: I don’t know.

Me: I think you should find out seeing I just wasted valuable time entering the numbers.

So I capitulate to the machinery like an extra in a Terminator movie becoming fodder to the machines for the viewing pleasure of the masses who sit transfixed not knowing they are being condition to obey the system. As part of the verification process I am asked to confirm my email address. Which I do. I pay the $24. And then I ask for an email to verify I no longer owe any money.

Operator:- I am sorry sir I don’t have access to emails.

Me:- So why ask me to verify my email address?

Me:- Let me speak to a supervisor. 26 mins on hold later. The original operator comes on.

Operator: I am sorry sir there are no supervisors. I have asked the back office staff to send you an email.

Me: So you can send me an email receipt?

Operator:- Yes sir

Me: Why didn’t you say that 26 mins ago?

Operator: Will that be all sir?

Me:- I will be sending Roam Tolling an invoice for half an hour of my hourly rate.

Operator. Thank you sir.

Categories: Australian, Current Affairs

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

7 replies

  1. Had this with a gas bill. I may have done exactly what you did, no way I am giving my personal details to random debt collection agency, I had paid but accidentally to old reference no, the actual company was able to find payment and apply it to my bill, take off debt collection and any issues as I had actually paid bill just to wrong place πŸ™‚

  2. I think there is an Irish song about going a’roming though I can’t remember all the words at the moment. You can probably download a copy from iTunes for … wait for it … $24 πŸ™‚

  3. Thanks for providing a means of responding to these callers. I’ve always been at a loss as to whether I should provide information over the phone.. Ring back is the answer.

  4. Hi Pete, I understand your feelings. Maybe I should charge the Wollongong Doctor who ran 1.5 hrs late for that amount of my time and for the parking fee. After an hour of waiting I asked the receptionist how much longer and she couldn’t tell me. I then suggested that since the cost of parking is quite exorbitant it would be good to know and she said “but you get 3 hours free parking with a concession card or a health care card or a seniors card”. I replied “But I don’t fit into any of those categories so I am left to pay an exorbitant parking bill as there is no discount for delay by doctor”. Perhaps there could be an app for delay times before I park – or wait -if I delay seeing her again for 4 months I will have a seniors card. There is a benefit to hitting a big no!!!! Rant over! Now if it isn’t an invasion of privacy, and if you are sure I am not a Nigerian scammer, could I please have your snail mail address. Thanks Anthea

    Date: Mon, 14 Dec 2015 05:55:20 +0000 To: anthea56@hotmail.com

  5. I had exactly the same type of conversation for similar thing – I thought i was the only one to react that way.


  6. Hi Peter. I’ve been a silent follower of your postings and I find them very insightful. I am my years of admiring your words and works I never made an attempt to write you back until I saw this. I agree, unfortunately, that a few disgruntled Nigerians are into scamming but to let the identity of such elements become a National identity is a generalisation that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. I am a Nigerian and I wonder why no one told my story to the world when I returned money (GBP) paid to me in error at tax refund desk at Heathrow Airport, London. Countless Nigerian are doing great dignifying deeds, working their hands raw and living godly, christian lives and somehow all of these fall through the cracks. The only thing we see in the global mirror is the disgusting action of a few that we are not proud to call our own. Having said this, please publish as soon as you can another work to ride on this sensitive topic. You will find many such examples without much ado. I remain a fan.

    Be assured of my best regards.


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