A mischievous response to phone scam

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, June 4, 2015

Dijla Al-Rekabi sports orange handcuffs after being served “warrant” for her arrest. Photo by Warren Harbeck

When Dijla Al-Rekabi showed up at Cochrane Coffee Traders recently, I served her with a “warrant” for her arrest and placed her in handcuffs – orange handcuffs, that is.

It all began a few days earlier when Dijla (see my column for Nov. 28, 2012) received an annoying phone call from New York amidst an already stressful day. New York? Strange, she thought. On the spur of the moment, she decided to have some fun with the caller. At the end of the call, she emailed me an account of her conversation:

Dijla: Hello?

Voice: Hello, is this Ms. Dijla Al-Rekabi?

Dijla: Yes . . . .

Voice: Ms. Al-Rekabi, this is Officer John from the U.S. Federal Department calling.

Dijla: How can I help you, Officer John?

Off. John: Ms. Al-Rekabi, I wonder if your local police department paid you a visit yesterday or this morning.

Dijla: Aaaahhhh, wouldn't that be nice. But why would they?

Off. John: Ms. Al-Rekabi, we have received a complaint about you.

Dijla: Oh no, not again. It must be another person complaining about how pretty I am. Well, what can I say, I am pretty and people will always complain (sighs).

Off. John: Ms. Al-Rekabi, you've committed a serious federal offense under U.S. law. You need to understand that your local police will be there momentarily to arrest you.

Dijla: No way! You mean, my beauty is now considered a federal offense under U.S. law? Well, it’s about time someone finally paid attention.

Off. John: Your local police will be there in 10 minutes to arrest you.

Dijla: Local police officers are gonna be here shortly? You're joking, aren't you? I can't wait! I heard they're pretty sexy and hot; can't wait to meet one of them.

Off. John: Hold the line. I will transfer you to our senior officer.

New Voice: Hello, this is Senior Officer Shane Miller with the U.S. Federal Police. Is this Dijla Al-Rekabi?

Dijla: Hi, Officer Miller.

Off. Miller: Ms. Al-Rekabi, you need to understand the seriousness of your offense under U.S. federal law. You need to pay a total of $1,732.52 immediately to avoid any criminal record. If payment is not received immediately, we will be sending your local police to handcuff you and put you in jail.

Dijla:  Ohhhh, handcuffs! I've always wanted to experience how those feel when placed on my pretty hands by a good looking police officer. Would you please ask them to bring orange handcuffs? My pumps are orange and it would be lovely to have matching handcuffs.

Off. Miller: Excuse me?

Dijla: See, I'm so picky, no wonder a lot of people complain about me. Of course, they're jealous of me.

Off. Miller: Your local police will come to your house and arrest you. Where do you live?

Dijla: You have to guess, officer. Come on, you can do it.

Off. Miller: (Bleep) you, (bleep, then click).

Dijla: Hello, hello, Officer Miller? Officer John?

“Stupid me,” Dijla concluded in her email to me. “I just annoyed a scammer to the point he was the one who got angry, swore at me and hung up in my face. I was so ready for those police officers to show up. All I told them was the truth. I am pretty, and I was wearing orange pumps, and there is no way I would have settled for handcuffs that don't match the colour of my pumps and outfit!”

Well, when my wife and I read Dijla’s email, we agreed that more than one can fun with these irritating telephone scams. After arranging with Dijla to join me for coffee a few days later, Mary Anna and I created a “warrant” for her arrest, then bought a pair of plastic handcuffs and spray-painted them bright orange.

Immediately upon greeting Dijla at Coffee Traders, I served her with our little surprise. It read, “Warrant for the arrest of Dijla Al-Rekabi for the crime of looking so beautiful in orange pumps.”

She was just breaking into a wide-eyed smile over the warrant, when I placed the orange handcuffs on her. “I have never dreamt of having handcuffs on my hands,” she beamed. “Well, unless, they’re orange, that is; then that’s a different story!”


© 2015 Warren Harbeck

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