99 problems and robocalls are all of them: Cortland woman gets calls from Africa every hour

Regional News

After losing her husband, and then her grandson, both in the last month, all Phyllis DeRushia wants is a peaceful night’s sleep.

Keeping her up — scammers — calling seemingly every hour, from countries in Africa and Europe.

“Some names I can’t even pronounce,” DeRushia says.

It’s a crash course in geography, based on locations in her “recent calls” log on her iPhone. We had DeRushia count and the number was beyond 100, all likely from the one-ring, or Wangiri, scam.

The scammers make quick phone calls, sometimes frequently. The goal is to pique the victim’s curiosity so much, he or she calls back. The foreign number connects them to an overseas hotline that charges international calling rates. 

Sometimes, the scammers get a cut of the money.

What’s annoying in small doses, is interrupting DeRushia’s life. She says, “I showered this morning. By the time I got out, I had six. I’ve had about 15 since I’ve been in here (at work) this morning.”

She now uses her iPhone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature, shown to her by her grandson.

DeRushia also made two trips to Verizon, where the staff couldn’t help her.

“They have no answers. They said, ‘No answers. Everybody’s getting them.’ That many? He said, ‘No, not that may.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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