I don't remember exactly what he said, as I was still waking up. But it was something like, "Sorry for waking you. I'm with the phone company, and all of the '399' extensions are down. You can go back to sleep, you just need to leave your phone off the hook while we fix it. When you hear a computer tone, you'll know we are finished, and you can hang your phone back up."
"Uh-huh...." Slowly I processed this strange information. "What company did you say you were with?"
"The, ah, with your cable company. You called us."
"No I didn't."
"Yes, the McGowans, is this the McGowan residence?" (well, some kinda name like that)
"No. No it's not."
"Oh. Well, then I'm very sorry for waking you," he said gravely, and he hung up. There might have been more words and details exchanged than I'm listing, but that is the general gist of the conversation.
He definitely never gave me his name, nor a company name. When I asked for the company's name, he seemed to get evasive and quickly said something that allowed him to end the conversation.
I hung up the phone, puzzled. I lay awake in bed for a long time, trying to figure it out. If he was telling the truth, and somebody had actually called him with a problem, then why would he apologize for waking me? It definitely sounded like some kind of scam, but what? Was there something he could do, if I left my phone line open? Somehow charge something to my phone bill? I certainly don't know of anything.
Maybe he was just calling to see if the house was empty, so he could rob it. But why the weird phone conversation, if that's the case? He could have just hung up when I said 'hello'. Or maybe he wanted my phone off the hook so I couldn't call 911 if he entered? I tensely listened for any noises downstairs while my brain mulled it over. I tried to remember if I'd remembered to lock my doors (I had).
I was relieved when a cat hopped up on my bed, because he could help listen. Cat alarm. If his sharp ears caught a noise, I knew he would jerk to attention, then probably run downstairs. Not to defend the house or anything of course, he's not that useful of a cat, but to greet the visitor. But if that happened, I would know there was a threat to respond to.
We didn't hear anything, and nothing more happened. Eventually, I relaxed enough to fall back asleep. But what was up with that?? I almost feel like the beginning of one of those annoying email forwards, where they warn you of some scam/urban legend/thievery/etc to watch out for.
Except that I don't know what he was trying to achieve! Anybody else heard of this? Any ideas? Talk about a weird and creepy way to wake up in the middle of the night.