A Phone Scam and a Southern Cafe

The phone showed the incoming call was from area code 646, which is Manhattan. My answer was a brusque hello, because this was someone I didn’t know. A young man’s voice fumbled a bit and asked for Grandpa. I knew it was not David or Nathaniel. Even under stress, that voice did not belong to either of my grandsons. Immediately I thought of an article I read in the past week about phone scams targeting older people. Playing for time, I said I’d get Grandpa. I took the phone to John and was able to tell him I didn’t think the call was legit. John listened as the person began to explain that his friend’s mother died, and he was at the funeral in Manhattan. He said, “I think you have the wrong number.” The phone went dead. Bingo! It was the beginning of a scam call.

I told John about the article, which said a call will come from a grandchild who is caught in some bad situation and begs you to wire money to him/her. Well, our call didn’t get that far. How I wish I could remember all the points I’d read. One is that you can ask a question of the caller that only your grandchild would know. A second is to hang up and call your relative, which is what we did. John phoned Nathaniel and chatted a bit about what he had done during the day. The answer was that he prepared Eggs Benedict in class, and he sent us a photo of it. [Nathaniel said they made the English muffins a day or so earlier and put together the dish today. His recipe for Hollandaise sauce called for twice as many egg yolks as mine, making it very thick.] I texted David and got a quick reply, so we knew he was fine. I will keep reading the old folks’ magazine to try to stay ahead of current con games.

012417 N's Eggs Benedict.jpg
Nathaniel’s Eggs Benedict

Breakfast was a fun and delicious meal. We were between appointments in neighboring towns and ate at the Paper Town Grill. I had seen it often, driving by this storefront restaurant that stated they served breakfast all day. Shortly after we sat down, the tables filled with older people who were regulars. One woman left her seat and picked up two jam packets near the kitchen door, because she knew where they were kept. The waitress apologized for her forgetfulness. I listened to the accents, all local. I hope to be able to define town mountain talk some day. The accent is lightly Southern, but there is a twist to it that people in the middle of the state don’t have. Rural mountain speech is different altogether, twangy and nasal, sprinkled with words you’ve never heard before.

John noticed two bulletin boards on the wall behind me. One was titled “In Memory of” and the other, “Guess Who?” The memory board had photos and obituaries. The guessing board held children’s photos that had to be of adult patrons. This was the real deal, a place where people’s lives were bound together in life and death. Nobody glared at us, so I presume we didn’t take anyone’s regular table.

John ate an omelet which was light, fluffy, and cheesy. My sausage, eggs, and French toast were excellent. John said he’d be willing to go back there any time. I would like a repeat, too, to try Southern things like biscuits with gravy or a bowl of grits. You can tell a lot about a place by their grits.

29 thoughts on “A Phone Scam and a Southern Cafe

  1. I’m so glad you caught the scammer on the hop Anne. I can’t really understand how anyone scams rather than works but especially when they aim at a vulnerable group.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

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  2. Grits the right way is an art. Truly. We made New Years breakfast at our home this year and I was amazed at how many family members had never had grits, chicken fried steak or biscuits and gravy!! Granted my siblings are adopted siblings so they did not have the same roots, and my mother in law is a New Yorker. So, the only new thing they got to try was biscuits and gravy. Next year I’ll do the grits and chicken fried steak, I guess. LOL
    It’s important with scammers to ask questions and make calls to verify. I had received a text or IM saying that my friend was stranded in Europe, That her wallet was stolen and she was left stranded and couldn’t pay her hotel room, etc. It took me a couple of seconds before I got on the phone and called her. She was fine in LA and was grateful. She immediately posted to all her friends that she was fine and it was a scam.
    I got a call today telling me the government wanted to give me $9,500 dollars. I could tell he was foreign and my response was “When does the government give you anything?!” Okay, so I’m a cynic. He wasn’t going to give up though so I had to be rude.

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    1. It has been YEARS since I had chicken fried steak! We don’t have red meat very often these days, but it’s a very good memory. I once had an email scam about a client with the same line — stranded in Europe. I had read about scammers and knew the drill, but my boss wouldn’t let me contact him to tell him he’d been hacked. What a hoot that the government wanted to give you money! I hadn’t heard that one before.

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  3. We just had to deal with scammers with Mom yesterday, too. Sometime telling her she won something. He called about 8 times in a row, and was increasingly verbally aggressive on each message he left on her machine. It was really unsettling. It was enough to finally get her to start using caller id.

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  4. So many scammers these days. One of the most frequent ones I get is the young man telling me there’s something wrong with my computer. “We’re all set, thanks,” I say as I hang up. 🙂 Sounds like you found a great breakfast spot to return to!

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    1. I haven’t gotten calls about our computers, but we get emails saying the same thing. We don’t often eat breakfast out, because I love cooking that meal. There are endless variations, and we seem to like them all.

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  5. I have never had a call like that before. We just keep getting calls about our computer. I usually ask for their name, address and phone number and I inform them that I will be giving those to the Better Business Bureau. They hang up pretty fast.
    I have never had grits and have no idea what those even are. Those Eggs Benedict look amazing!

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    1. Grits! I have served grits as a side with bacon and eggs, as a main dish of Shrimp and Grits, and as a bread course – baked grits. There is a debate as to whether the word is singular or plural. Grits is/are ground corn, so I think it counts as a whole grain. You haven’t lived until you’ve had grits in the South! When can you come down to experience this wonder? Your life won’t be complete until you do.

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    2. Yes! Please do convince him that y’all need to see the mountains of NC and eat grits with us. You also need to try Southern BBQ sandwiches. Our mountains are gentle and human-sized. The folks are warm and friendly. What’s not to like?

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