I tried to offer a Diners Club or a JCB card, instead, but was told these were not acceptable by “Melvin” who became increasingly eager to close the call.

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The scammer’s system seemed to have trouble recognizing my responses as I pressed the buttons on my phone, but eventually I was able to answer all five questions, at which point I was told I was being routed to a person for processing my free cruise.

The last three times this happened, I never got to speak to a human, but this time, I must have gotten lucky, because I was speaking to none other than “Melvin Jones” of Caribbean Cruise Line.

It was a little different, though, this time: Instead of Robo-John announcing that I had been selected to take a 30-second telephone survey and receive a free cruise to the Bahamas for my efforts, it was robo-Sally.

This time, robo-Sally did not give the name of the organization “performing” the survey (more about this later), but instead began the process of performing the survey by telephone keypad.

In the middle of working on a blog post about SMS phishing scams at my desk last night, I received a rather strange call.

The number displayed on the Caller ID was 1 (360) 474-3925.

As it finally dawned on “Melvin” that he had just spent twenty-three minutes not getting a sales commission, the last thing I told him was that I was sure I would be speaking to his company again soon, given the number of times I had received calls from Political Opinions of America.