Amanda Maylam was at home Tuesday evening when she got a call from an international number on her cellphone.
The Coquitlam homeowner answered and immediately heard what appeared to be a young woman crying uncontrollably on the other end and unable to speak through her sobs.
Disturbed, Maylam immediately hung up and searched for the phone number online — eager to find out if the woman was legitimate or if her call was spam.
The +962 number popped up immediately and so did the list of complaints about the girl from Jordan.
“I got this call at 4 a.m.,” a Mississippi resident wrote Friday on spamcalls.net. “For a second, I thought it was my daughter calling. It freaked me out because there was a girl crying hysterically. After I said ‘Hello’ a couple of times, the call ended.”
And from another Coquitlam resident Friday morning, also on the tracking site: “A woman crying and screaming, asking for help. If you call back, you will hear 2 people are [having] a conversation but it sounds like it is from a prerecorded video.”
Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Mike McLaughlin told The Tri-City News the detachment has logged at least two complaints about a woman crying on the phone but Mounties aren’t investigating.
“This is one of those grey areas,” McLaughlin said. “Calls like this may not meet the threshold for even creating a police file. I wouldn't call them a scam, for instance, because there is no attempt to gain money or property, nor is there a clear indication that someone is at risk.”
McLaughlin said, in some cases, Mounties may try to check on the well-being of the person placing the call or, if the calls are repetitive and causing a nuisance, officers may follow-up.
But if the number comes back as “not in service” or is outside Canada, there’s not much police can do, he said.
Meanwhile, Vancouver Police also alerted residents via Twitter on Friday about six reports last week about calls from an African area code and hearing a recording of a woman in distress.
"Always err on the side of caution and call 9-1-1 if you feel someone may need immediate help," the department wrote on its feed.
As for Maylam, she’s still shaken from the experience.
“It was so upsetting,” she said. “I actually believed there was a child crying… I don’t like how people can play on our emotions.”