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Hudson Valley Man Pestered By Donald Trump Caller ID Mixup

For two years people receiving calls from a Poughkeepsie man thought he was the Republican nominee for president because of the caller ID on his cell phone.
For two years people receiving calls from a Poughkeepsie man thought he was the Republican nominee for president because of the caller ID on his cell phone. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

It was amusing at first, then got "scary," said Poughkeepsie resident Richard Rhoades who up to two weeks ago when the problem was resolved, was pestered for two years from callers thinking he was Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

That is because the caller I.D. on his telephone land-line had the name of the Republican Presidential nominee, said Rhoades, 76, a retired respiratory therapist and EMT.

Now, since an article about the problem ran in The New Yorker, calls are coming in for the Vietnam War Marine Corps veteran from reporters, including two Monday, he told Daily Voice.

"They're annoying," he said, not mincing words, sounding partly amused. "My wife isn't home, otherwise I wouldn't be talking to you," he joked.

Rhoades, however, confined with back injuries also has post-traumatic stress disorder admits calls from strangers can get "scary."

He recounted how for two years he would get them, at times, around 2 or 4 in the morning.

"They would give me campaign slogans or say something ugly," Rhoades said.

“I don’t like Trump,” he offered, repeating what he told The New Yorker, "I think we should send him on a mission to Pluto."

"When it started I thought it was kind of cute. People found it amusing. If I was to call you right now you would see Donald Trump's information come up as caller I.D."

"I'd call someone and the (receiver) would say, 'Are you Donald Trump?'

"They'd say (to others) 'I have Donald Trump on the phone.' Then all of a sudden I would be put on speaker and up to 14 people would be listening in. This would happen when I called my doctors at the V.A. I have serious problems and have to talk to them. Then people started calling me. It got annoying."

I would say, 'This is not Donald Trump. We're not connected in anyway, shape or form. Please do not call me," said Rhoades.'"

"I called the Trump organization to stop the calls and got someone I'd tell to pull me off the master list."

Then two weeks ago, on a call to Verizon, Rhoades' land-line phone carrier, his wife took over the conversation.

"A pleasant gentleman got on the phone and she talked to him for 90 minutes. He said, 'I'm checking the background calls and we don't have as many as you say but we do have many. I will do everything I can to get Donald Trump out of your slot."

The next morning the agent called Rhoades and told him everything was resolved.

Trump, who owns an estate in Bedford, also owns Trump National Golf Club Hudson Valley in Stormville andTrump National Westchester in Briarcliff Manor. The Trump name also adorns Trump Tower At City Center in White Plains, Trump Plaza in New Rochelle, Trump Park Residences in Yorktown and the Donald J. TrumpState Park on the Westchester/Putnam border.

To see the story in The New Yorker, click here.

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