The Joys of ChriScamUs
Updated: Nov 26, 2019
Christmas is approaching, and it’s all going down now.
While we're all dizzy with Brexit in the UK and possibly Nexit in the US, what with the possible impeachment of Donald Trump, every scam artist is looking up the National Census to target the growing 'poor old' older generation. And with the aim of making us poorer and older (if not wiser). Although these days everyone is getting more wary and suspicious these days. Here's how I've started to handle things.
On the Job?
I won’t open the door to the postman without a rundown of his CV and what we last discussed, when where and what, which package he delivered and any other family issues that make up “The Knowledge.”
He’ll claim he’s your regular postie, ask you to put the kettle on as usual so you can have your cuppa together and a nice quick chat.
Do you think I spend hours talking to my postie because I’m bored and lonely? No! There’ll come a day when some stranger turns up, takes one look at you with your bed hair, and estimates that you’re at least one hundred and two: damn - you must be senile by now.
He’ll claim he’s your regular postie (sorry, but I've not seen a female postie in donkey's years), ask you to put the kettle on so you can have your usual cuppa together and a nice quick chat. To which the proper response should be: “Well of course, m'dearie, but tell me, how’s your little one doing… I forget her name, the one with the … the …?”
Nobody trusts anybody these days.
You then look at him expectantly and let them fill in the blanks.
No there are some ingenious vintage individuals who like to go the extra mile. We all know one: sick sense of humour; used to work in theatre. They'll have concocted fake poop disguised on their person (similar to the fake vomit used in movies) which they allow to trail behind them as they go to the door.
Now, that’s a good deterrent but can be going a step too far for the less adventurous. Apps that shout, "Hurry up and shut the door grandma - it's freezing!" ... or some such are probably available by now and a lot more dignified.
In this day and age, you've got to watch every penny.
When a bank official rings me they’d better know their post code, sort code, card expiry date, and the last item they purchased on their bank account.
I'm uber suspicious. When a bank official rings me they’d better know their post code, sort code, card expiry date, and the last item they purchased on their bank account. Nobody trusts anybody these days. I cancelled a card because I couldn’t find it and someone had made a withdrawal of £11.00 on it.
It turned out to be my Netflix direct debit payment, but the damage was done. I withdrew every penny from that account and haven’t used it sense. Overkill, but as you get older you get more nervous. Just like Death, those scam artists are all watching your every move with bated breath. And then there’s the non-visual scammer. These ones test your ability to sniff out a fraudster over the airwaves.
The Phone Call
"Good morning, how are you today? We’re calling from BT/Microsoft/Sky about the problems you’re having with your broadband/PC/.."
"Impossible! I don't have broadband or a PC. Goodbye."
“We heard about your car accident…”
“Heard? How? Who told you? … Or… “You look nice. I've got a a new app that can show me who's calling.” Or… “Hello, Mr Telephone Man! It’s my birthday I’m five hares hold today!”
Ok, calling about a car accident may just be sales pitching and cold calling, but if I didn't give you my number personally, or indirect permission for you to have it, then you're part of a scam. As tempting as any of the above may seem, the correct response to both of these is: “Oh just a minute, I’m so sorry. There’s someone at the door. Hold on while I get it, back in a sec.”
Three hours later. “Oh goodness! I must have left the phone off the hook when I went out shopping. Those poor people!”
Speed up your PC
Your computers up the creek. They notice you’ve been having trouble with your PC; it’s slowed right down (and they can’t figure out your keystrokes. Would you like some help with speeding it up? All you have to do is press a button and they will take over your PC remotely and check it for you. Give it a full diagnosis. Anyone who's likely to fall for this scam should not be let anywhere near the phone.
Unfortunately, it’s very easy to fall for it. "Oh thank you, Miss Telephone woman. You'l find my bank account and pin code details under the file called All my secret passwords."
Have a bite of this Apple, my dear…
Thank you for your purchase of the outer moons of Mongolia at $69.00 for your Applie iphone.
Wait … what? I don’t want … I didn’t … I haven’t got ….
If you would like to query this transaction, please click this link.
Most people rush to click on the link so that they can assert the purchase is nothing to do with them. They start filling in all sorts and before you know it, their bank account has been cleaned out.
Don’t forward it to someone else to ask for their help. They may be confused seeing something from you and automatically open it.
Don’t Panic. Don’t. Click. Any. Link. Delete it. Save yourself a load of heartache, money and expense.
Trust your instincts in matters. Here are a few common sense tips to help you avoid being scammed.
If your first response is, but “I didn’t, or but I don’t need, it’s because you didn’t. You don’t need.
You don't have to listen to a phone call you don't understand.
You don't need to answer any questions from someone on the phone.
You do not need to give a complete stranger your personal details if you are unsure about doing so.
And finally, if your first thought is, “But I didn’t" ... or ... " But I don’t need, it’s probably because you didn’t. You don’t need. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and hang up.
The ChristScamUs artists are depending on your curiosity getting the better of you. Don't let it, and you will beat them at their own game.