Herself just told me about something she heard on the radio.
It was one of those stories where I knew the ending when she was only a quarter way in.
It concerned a nurse who had just come off a double shift duty when she got a phone call to say there was a problem with her bank account [now you’ve all guessed where this is going?!]. To cut a long story short and reach the inevitable conclusion, she gave her bank details and her entire account was cleaned out. She lost every cent she had saved, working through the pandemic.
It’s very easy to say she deserved it. God knows there has been enough in the meeja telling us about the latest scams and what not to do, but the poor girl was tired and not expecting she’d be a victim so I don’t really blame her.
I have been the target of the latest batch of scammers [what is a collective noun for scammers? A Nigerian?] and they are really fucking good. And I mean really professional. They are convincing and friendly. They know your name and address and can appear to know everything about you and of course they are only contacting you in your best interests. Suggest to them that they are scamming and they will laugh before sounding hurt – how could you possibly believe that?
I almost hanker for the days when some gobshite from Darkest Africa would phone me to tell me “dat my Windows machine hab a virus and day clean it fo me”! Those calls were fun because they were so blatantly obvious and I could [and did] have a lot of fun with them, winding them up and wasting their time.
The modern lot are a thousand times more convincing. I am a bit of an old lag when it comes to scams and they damn near had me convinced they were real. In the end I found a way of trapping them. Just ask them for more details about “my case”. The first one was about a complaint I had lodged online [I told this story before?]. As it happened, I had lodged a complaint so this call could be legitimate, but there were one or two things about it that rang alarm bells. My solution was to ask them for more details about my complaint. The girl in my case laughed and said surely I must know the details and I said that of course I did, but did she? She tried bluffing but I knew I had her and hung up. She phoned me back, all hurt and insulted [I did say they were professional? Add bold to that] but I hung up on her again.
The same girl phoned me again a couple of weeks later. Same girl, same phone number but a different scam [obviously a mistake on her part?] and I laughed at her and hung up again.
So now I am even more cautious. I get emails from An Post [Irish postal service] telling me there is a parcel awaiting delivery but could I please click a link to pay an excess delivery fee. I delete them. I get numerous emails telling me my Netflix or Amazon accounts have been compromised and could I log in to verify my account. I delete them [I don’t have accounts with them anyway]. I get phonecalls saying my Interweb connection has been compromised and “press 1” or I will be disconnected. I ignore them.
I think twice – three times – more – before putting credit card details or personal details into a website
However, I can’t blame anyone for falling for a scam.
They are just so credible