The following day after Dad's phone bill arrived, I called Dad to tell him the amount on the phone bill. He had the same reaction I did. He asked me to call the phone company to see if they would remove the charge from the bill.
"Like they did for the past two months?"
"Uh, yeah, and see if they can block the number so Ma can't call.
Kelly at the phone company was very sympathetic and understanding. "I'm not allowed to credit calls to Jamaica anymore", she said. "However, I will give him a credit as if he had the International dialing plan on his service. That would bring the call to Jamaica down to 38 cents per minute instead of $4.96 per minute. That call would be $8.74 plus tax."
I thanked her and then asked if there was anyway that could prevent Ma from placing international calls. She suggested having the international plan of $4.00 per month added to the bill. As she pointed out, Ma isn't going to stop calling these scam numbers and at least the phone call would be a reasonable amount to pay instead of the $100 calls. She had a point, but I wanted to find a better solution. I asked to be connected to the fraud department to see if they could help out.
After spending the day on the phone talking to the phone company representatives, I was sharing a large glass of whine with a friend. "Other than the international calling plan, the only other thing they could suggest would be to prevent the Weebles from placing any calls where they have to dial a one before the number. Only that wouldn't be good because then if they needed me, they couldn't call me."
"I'm not seeing the downside to the problem," she said.
Himself had the same reaction.
While pacing from the kitchen to the livingroom, I came up with a solution. "I know what to do."
"Yeah, what?" Himself asked.
"I'll give Tony Soprano a call to see if he can send Pauley Walnuts over to Ma's to break her other wrist."