The only people who call nowadays are scammers. Bring back the good old days when we were harassed only by crank calls and debt collectors!
 Feb 06th, 2014
Received a call this morning from a Manitoba number that I didn't recognize, so I let it go to the answering machine. A caller with an accent (French?) said "Hello? Hello? Hello? Is anybody there? Can you hear me?"

I was about to walk away when he suddenly asked for me by name, "Mr. Andy, are you there? Hello?", then hung up.

For a second, I thought I'd missed an actual call for me, but, of course, my suspicious nature made me search for this number via Google. Sure enough, it's a telemarketing ploy. Reports from other phone spam sites suggest that it's a company called "Canadian Lifestyle Centre".

More Googling brought up a Wikipedia page describing what a "lifestyle centre" is: "A shopping center or mixed-use commercial development that combines the traditional retail functions of a shopping mall with leisure amenities oriented towards upscale consumers." The basic concept in Canada is exemplified by West Edmonton Mall (i.e. higher-end shopping combined with recreational/amusement facilities and several attached hotels so that you never have to leave the property).

So, it's beginning to sound like a typical prize-pitch scam. Instead of a Caribbean cruise, you get to stay in a "lifestyle centre". Whoopee. :-P
 Feb 05th, 2014