JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Dn’t Rspnd To Thse Txts!

It started last weekend. I began receiving weird text messages from unknown phone numbers outside the 701 area code. I didn’t think about it much the first time, but then they kept on coming, sometimes three a day. I ignored them, like I had been told to when I got my first cellphone.

By the way, I remember my very first text: Lillian and I were on the road and texting had been invented some time before, but I’m pretty much a technology nerd — I blame it on my age — and I had taken a picture of this big chicken in front of a diner in Wisconsin. I wanted to send it to my friend, Clay, so Lillian stopped the car beside the road and showed me how to do it in a text message.

With the picture I wrote, “Clay, this is my first text. Is it addictive?” Clay wrote back almost immediately, “Pretty much.”  Well, Clay was pretty much right. For some people. Mostly my sisters and sisters-in-law.

My family is very close, and we do a lot of group texts, almost daily. It’s really cool, and we love each other a lot and stay in touch all the time. But you know what I really hate? Almost every time one of those women gets a family text, they hit some kind of a button on their phone that puts a “thumbs up” emoji in front of the original message and resends it back to everyone. So I get a lot of the texts three or four times. Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!

I sent them a nice text a week or so ago that said what I just wrote. Although I said, “I really don’t like,” not “hate.” Guess how many put a thumbs up emoji in front of it and sent it back! I love them anyway.

But I digress. What I started to write about is these anonymous texts. After about a dozen of them, I decided to write about it and see if anyone else is having the same problem. So I copied them here, to share with you. Some are goofy. Some just plain stupid. But some look pretty realistic. I can see that someone who has less cellphone supervision than I might get caught in a trap. I don’t know what would happen if I responded to one, but I don’t think I want to find out. Although if I knew how to do that “thumbs up” emoji and resend it, I might just do that. But that’s technology way beyond my pay grade.

Anyway, here’s the text messages sandwiched around my family texts in the past four or five days.

Saturday, Feb. 4 09:30

(801) 630-0232 – Claimzer: Jim, we advise you to check for any unclaimed assets pending for you before they expire: claimzer-1.com/a/ (This was the first one. I didn’t know what lay ahead, but I guessed this might be a “spam” message so I ignored it. But I was a little troubled they knew my name.)

Saturday, Feb. 4 11:15

(705) 796-7951 – Your subscription have problems with our payment method. Please update your information to keep your account: akba9.xyz/rdNKNiCfBN (Hmm, that’s two of these this morning. And what did that even mean? What’s up?)

Saturday, Feb. 4 13:54

(705) 577-0656 – Pay attention that this is the second time we remind you. Your device will be given to next in line tomorrow. Follow here eij\3jr.info/gF4C9vs4K (Uh-oh, are they coming to take my phone away? It’s nap time. I’ll just hope they go away.)

Sunday, Feb. 5 12:53

(613) 303-8656 Verizon: You have some unseen loyalty points to use. Use them or lose them here: ak0w1.xyz/9ddKsLfgkl (Okay, this is getting out of hand. Should I report it to somebody?)

Sunday, Feb. 5 12:53

(519) 492-2661 Verizon: You have some unseen loyalty points to use. Use them or lose them here: ak0w1.xyz/9ddKsLfgkl (Persistent folks, less than a minute apart, same message, different phone number.)

Monday, Feb. 6 13:26

(519) 261-1606 Your vehicle insurance policy has changed. Confirm now sm93s.com/ogm8UuzV2i (Well, at least they weren’t trying to sell me an extended warranty.)

Monday Feb. 6 14:31

(561) 475-8519 This is your last chance, Jim Fuglie, to clear your account before it will be deactivated on Wednesday. Zlih.info/XHAHi (Dang, that was kind of threatening, and they used my full name, even more troubling. But I ignored it, and Wednesday came and went, and I can’t figure out if any of my accounts has been deactivated. Everything seems to be working. Oh, but I haven’t tried a bank withdrawal yet.)

Monday, Feb. 6 16:54

(305) 457-0768 Notification: For Jim Fuglie, This here belongs to you. But it will be returned to sender if you don’t accept. See here giny.info/HAQal. (Shoot, I wonder what I didn’t get.)

Monday, Feb. 6 18:16

(705) 791-6159YOU have 1 New Mail from Wallmart. Your receipt ending with 2185 came first in the Draw. Claim Winnings gglinh.com/EGG7oX50MM (Hmmm, “Wallmart” better teach its employees how to spell the name of their company. I’m noticing a lot of bad grammar in these messages. I wonder if they’re coming from Indonesia or Thailand?)

Tuesday, Feb. 7 06:27

(705) 991-3766 You must schedule shipping by Thursday, 2/9 of the SMART TV you won jzelik.com/IXzm7ggZdf (Yeah, you know, I’m pretty busy today, and I’ve got a pretty good tv now, so I’m not going to be greedy)

Wednesday, Feb. 8 11:01

(705) 708-23861 YOU have 1 urgent message from Wal-Mart. Your voucher ending with 3224 came 2nd our raffle. Claim Winnings ahjsol.com/vYbUK2ks7o (Just like that, overnight, they learned how to spell Wal-Mart, but their grammar isn’t any better.)

Thursday, Feb. 9 08:12

(705) 896-4085 We will file 1 Court Ruled Settlement Tomorrow Portion will be US18,873.39. File now xjysrw.com/X7tCq74X7W (Dang, that’s big bucks. I’ll think about it overnight.)

Thursday, Feb. 9 09:07

(613) 451-0641 we tried contacting you regarding your 854.32 dollars Auto Policy return. Please collect what is due to you by 3rd of February boogfy.com?Kiy977inXC (Oops, that one must have gotten lost in the mail — came 6 days late.)

And finally, the coup de grace (or coup de e’tat, as a friend of mine used to say):

Thursday, Feb. 9 10:21

(519) 901-5186 Partners have observed that this smartphone is receiving a ceaseless amount of txts. Erase it instantly this . kdbusn.info/wqNL8sdcnJ

I laughed so long after that one that I missed doing it instantly, so I suppose it won’t work now. But somebody, somewhere, has a great sense of humor. I just wonder how they tied up all those phone numbers. I’m thinking about calling one, just to see what happens. But I think I better get permission from my tech support staff, Lillian. She’s the one who told me long ago, NEVER, EVER respond to one of those messages. Wise woman. We’ll see if she lets me try calling. I’ll report.

By the way, I got curious where all those phone calls were coming from, so I looked up the various area codes. I found out that almost all of them (11) came from the province of Ontario (area codes 519, 613 and 705). A lot of Canadian spam, eh? The others: one from Salt Lake City, Utah (801), one from Miami, Fla. (305), and one from Long Island, New York (561).

Go figure.

One thought on “JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Dn’t Rspnd To Thse Txts!”

  • Jacki Juvrud February 10, 2023 at 10:24 am

    Hello! Yes, Lillian is a very wise woman. It’s my policy not to answer any number that I don’t recognize; that’s usually calls but there are some texts, too. Most irritating texts that I get are from republicans that I haven’t given out my number to. I’m more of an emailing person; Outlook has gotten a fit flexible with their spam policies; seems like a lot of questionable emails slip through the filter. You are right about one thing: their grammar is horrible. Another trick with emails: hover over the sender until it shows the email address (don’t click it, just hover and it should show it); sometimes they look relatively legit but there always seems to be something that gives them away. Happy Friday, Jim! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


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