In what appears to be a strange, but relatively harmless phone scam, jiu-jitsu gyms all over the country are getting called by a woman who claims to be a brown belt and seems to only be calling to waste owners’ time and then scream at them.
The phone calls have been going on for years and were brought to light on the internet around a year ago, when Reddit threads began popping up mentioning phone calls from a woman who went either by Laura or Gabby and claimed to be a Gracie Barra brown belt from locations ranging from Florida to Poland and seemingly everywhere in between. Most recently, she’s been going by the name Paulina or Paulinda.
“Paulinda’s” phone calls have become almost an underground joke and rite of passage in the BJJ community thanks to their consistent and bizarre nature. She calls academies, cites her rank, and starts asking questions that steadily get more outlandish in nature — one consistent question involves asking if she’s allowed to wear a thong while training. She then becomes irate and will often begin yelling and accusing the person who took the call of being a racist or sexist before hanging up. Many gym owners have said that she’ll also threaten to call the police on them or accuse them of harassment (even though she’s the one calling).
Multiple academy owners have reported dealing with the issue for months or even years. “Paulinda” appears to be just one person (judging by her voice), but uses different phone numbers from all over the world, so blocking one usually has no effect. Hanging up on her sometimes results in her immediately calling back even angrier than before, so many people recommend ensuring that she’s the first one to hang up, whether that means just letting her wear herself out or getting her to cut the call short by other means. Academy owners who have dealt with her have tried multiple ways to get her to stop calling, including blowing a loud whistle or air horn into the speaker of the phone, trolling her back with ridiculous responses to her questions, or simply putting a male student or instructor on the phone (she often refuses to speak to men).
It’s unsure of what this woman’s motive is, but thus far, it doesn’t seem like she’s trying to scam people out of money or physically harm anyone. However, you can never be too careful (especially considering the fact that this is not typical behavior of someone who’s mentally stable), and phone harassment is a misdemeanor in many states. If you begin receiving calls from this woman, consider filing a police report so the BJJ community can hopefully get one step closer to figuring out who she is and not have to worry about her calls anymore.
If you’ve been one of “Paulinda’s” victims, share your story in the comment section on Facebook so other academy owners know what to expect if they receive a call from her.
Our schools have been receiving calls from her for years. The name changes, the details sometimes get upgraded, but it is always her. I used to get upset with her for wasting my time but recently I have simply been asking her if she needs help and inviting her to call a local help line for those with issues. That usually ends the call fairly quickly after being accused of harassment or abuse. She seems to cycle through the schools and renews her efforts about every 6 months or so.
She has been calling our school in Pocatello Idaho for years. After finding out other people We’re receiving calls from her it was such a relief. She would only speak to me not my husband and always called me lady. Over probably a five-year span she has used at least six different names and just as many phone numbers. We received a phone call from her last week and it actually is coming up Paulinda. Which makes it easier not to answer. To anyone that is frustrated I feel you but just know you’re not alone. For years I thought it was just our school being targeted. I hope someday somebody figures out who the heck it is a puts a stop to him or her. Maybe we should all go on catfish, or Pitch in for a private investigator together. 😂
This is hilarious to me! Yes this person calls.. the name changes.. but shes always a 3 stripe brown belt. Asks about ladies classes. Knows me by name and always asks to talk to me when she/he calls. They have also called and caught me at different affiliated school.. so strange..
Whenever I talk to them I just end being like… dude I know you’re messing with me.
This is in Maryland. The idea that this is happening everywhere is kinda funny.
She called us the other day. Apparently she ALWAYS CALLS but I answered for the first time and she disgustingly sighed and hung up. Apparently she doesn’t talk to men. So now when it comes up on the caller ID, I always answer and say, “Paulinda, it’s me. A man. Feel free to moan and hang up now 😂 “
We’re located in PA and she has called our school in the past and recently actually asking to speak with just females (me being one of them)! We sometimes use our personal phones to call clients off hours and when I used mine to call her, she proceeded to call me back 15 different times with the craziest questions and threats ranging from what type of underwear she should wear under her gi to me telling her I was done talking and her telling me she was gonna put me in a knee bar and break my bones. Def an interesting person. Claims to be a 4 stripe heavy set brown belt from Gracie Barra in FL. 🤷♀️
We’re in Australia, Melbourne. She was Ashely, GB brown belt to us about 4 years ago.
Same **** about the g string and all of the above.
Ah yeah and she/he won’t speak to men so its a fetish call for sure.
We’ve been receiving calls from her for years. She always hangs up the second a man answers the phone.
MISS PAULINDA! She’s my new sugar momma…I have her convinced I need jewels and pretty things. She likes “that guy” haha the guys here love talking to her because she gets so angry, but now I think she just deals with us?! LOL! She calls every day, sometimes several times a day, and now I just ask her outlandish things, like why doesn’t David Duchovny love me, and how do you bake a cake, can we drink coffee, why is the sky blue type of questions, and she’ll laugh at me and hang up. Or I just start singing to her. Fun times with Miss P.
This idiot started accusing me of discrimination, so I said “how can I be discriminating against you? We’re on the phone and I can’t even see what you look like!” Haha. Anyway, the best way to handle her is to either screen the calls or just hang up quickly.
*********! She started as gabby. Pauline is the 3rd name she used with us. She mainly just gets info on classes like a normal dumbass trying to determine if you are worth anything over the phone. Then can I wear a thong. Been doing it for 2 years.
Is that you, paulinda?
Bellum BJJ in St. Paul just got their first two Paulinda calls! I’m going to try to set up a way to record audio if we get another one.
“Paulinda” called our academy in AZ twice last week. She is quite the time robber. The story is the same as others have reported. 3 striped Grace Barra brown belt wanting to know if she can wear a thong blah blah blah. She gave an account of knee barring a male brown belt and I guess broke his knee. She/he is obviously not well. It’s all very creepy.
Sounds like a case for Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter.
She started calling our gym in AZ a few weeks ago. I thought she was serious at first, but after about 45 minutes of my politely answering her questions, I realized she was either not well or I was being pranked. She is a “brown belt with 2 stripes”, a “big girl” and is from Gracie Barra in Miami. She says that she just moved here because she got a promotion with Allstate and is now a manager. She asks for directions and will only speak to me. I would love for her to get the help she needs.
We just started receiving these calls shortly after we opened up our gym in Utah. The crazy thing is, (which I guess isn’t so crazy now after reading this) is I’m pretty sure she was also calling the gym I trained at back in Colorado. And with the two comments above mine, it doesn’t matter who it is but it clearly needs to stop. It is a form of harassment.
She would call the gym I work at, but only talk to the females. Any time a male picked up she would say wrong number and hang up. I called her back once asking why she kept calling, and all she did was deny it the whole time. I told her we have caller ID, and she still insisted it wasn’t her. She stopped calling for a few months, but ended up calling again, although not when I’ve been there which is a little creepy now that I think about it.
Here are some cliff notes from our conversation:
*42 year old female
*Moved from Puerto Rico 1 year ago and has been training at Gracie Barra Miami
*Two strip brown belt
*Likes to roll hard, did 40 rounds with a brown belt male that didn’t want to tap when training leg locks- “he needed to go to the hospital”
* recently moved near “your gym” and received a promotion with Allstate insurance as the manager
* Wants to know if she can train with a gstring under her compression shorts
* Wants the address to your gym
* Only speaks with females
* Requests not to call her number back she called on-gives another number
* Doesn’t want you speaking with other gyms – wants to join only your team
* Wants to know times of classes/ if you train hard- she competes
* Will be competing in Naga at the end of the month
* Wants to know prices.. offers to pay up front by check. And “doesn’t need a cash pay discount because she is a female”
The creepiest part- I answered as Jessica, she replied with my maiden name. Which is not disclosed anywhere
I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with Ashley/Gabi/Laura for 2 or 3 years.
I started answering the phone silently (picked up but said nothing) and came to a startling revelation that ‘she’ is actually a man! A male voice said ‘Hello? Hello?’ And when I replied the voice would switch to a female voice of Ashley/Gabi/Laura. So creepy